Monday outlook: Asian shares drop on trade tensions between U.S. and China

Asian shares dropped on Monday on escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Kuwait's stock market dropped ahead of FTSE emerging market inclusion. Oil prices gained on tightening supply. More commentary on currencies and precious metals

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 7, 2018.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • Asian shares drop on trade tensions
  • Kuwait’s market drops ahead of FTSE emerging market inclusion
  • Oil prices add gains
  • Dollar firms, gold prices retreat

Global markets

Asian shares retreated early on Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported that China cancelled mid-level trade talks with the United States, as well as a proposed visit to Washington by vice premier Liu He originally scheduled for this week, due to the latest escalation in trade talks.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.3 percent.

On Friday, Wall Street closed mixed with the Dow adding 0.32 percent, the S&P 500 mostly unchanged and the Nasdaq easing 0.51 percent.

“The trouble is that further escalation is still on the cards as both sides are still well apart on the key issues,” AMP Chief Economist Shane Oliver, told Reuters.

“Trump remains defiant saying ‘it’s time to take a stand on China’ and his threat to increase tariffs on all imports from China remains.”

Middle East markets

Kuwait’s index dropped 1.4 percent on Sunday, ahead of joining the FTSE Russel emerging market index. Entry to the emerging market index will be in two phases, on September 24th and December 24th.

Telecoms group Zain ended the day 2.5 percent lower, Kuwait Finance House lost 2.5 percent and National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) fell 2.4 percent while logistics company Agility dropped by 2 percent.

Saudi Arabia's stock market was closed for the country's national day.

Dubai’s index edged down 0.09 percent as investment company Amanat Holding dropped 3.3 percent, logistics company Aramex fell 1.5 percent and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties lost 0.2 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index added 0.2 percent as Union National Bank (UNB) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) rose 0.6 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

Qatar’s index ended the day 0.03 percent higher as Qatar National Bank (QNB), rose 0.7 percent and Industries Qatar fell 0.7 percent.

Egypt’s index rebounded 1.3 percent, Bahrain’s index added 0.9 percent, while Oman’s index dropped 0.2 percent.

Oil prices

Oil prices added gains in early trading on Monday. Fears of tightening supply from upcoming sanctions on Iran have been supporting prices.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $79.71 per barrel at 0138 GMT, up by 91 cents, or 1.2 percent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 rose by 75 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $71.53 a barrel.

“We expect that those OPEC countries with available spare capacity, led by Saudi Arabia, will increase output but not completely offset the drop in Iranian barrels,” Edward Bell, commodity analyst at Emirates NBD bank, told Reuters.


The dollar held firm on Monday, following news that China has cancelled trade talks with the United States.

Against a basket of six major currencies, the dollar was last at 94.22.

Precious metals

Gold prices retreated on a firmer dollar on Monday

Spot gold inched down 0.2 percent to $1,196.17 by 0323 GMT, after falling as much as 1.3 percent on Friday.

U.S. gold futures were virtually unchanged at $1,200.60 an ounce.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)


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