|02 September, 2019

Monday outlook: Stocks, oil prices drop on escalating U.S.-China trade tensions

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

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 1, 2019.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 1, 2019.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • Asian shares drop on trade concerns
  • Oil prices track equities lower
  • Tadawul’s index retreats 1.3 percent
  • Dollar flattens, gold prices rise

Global markets

Global markets retreated on Monday as United States President Donald Trump slapped 15 percent tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday, while China imposed new duties on U.S. crude.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dropped 0.3 percent.

Friday on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.89 points, or 0.09 percent, to 26,339.36, the S&P 500 lost 4.5 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,920.08 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 36.01 points, or 0.45 percent, to 7,937.38.

U.S. markets will be closed today for the Labor Day holiday.

“So far Trump appears defiant though on the tariff hikes, blaming the Fed and American companies for their difficulties in dealing with the tariffs,” Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP in Sydney, told Reuters.

“There is a long way to go though and re-establishing trust will be difficult after the experience since mid-last year. Share markets may still have to fall further to pressure Trump to resolve the issue.”

Oil prices

Oil prices followed equities lower, as trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies loomed.

Brent crude was down 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $58.98 a barrel by 0324 GMT, while U.S. oil was down 2 cents at $55.083 a barrel.

“The trade and tariff overhang is inescapable for oil markets, so while trade uncertainties persist, it will be difficult for oil to shrug off concerns about the threat to global demand,” Stephen Innes, APAC market strategist at AxiTrader, told Reuters.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 1.3 percent on Sunday as Al Rajhi Bank fell 2.6 percent and National Commercial Bank retreated 3.5 percent.

Dubai’s index was flat. Emaar Properties closed 1 percent higher, while Emirates NBD declined 0.9 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.9 percent, mainly pressured by the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank which was down 1.3 percent.

Qatar’s index added 0.2 percent with Qatar Islamic Bank gaining 2.5 percent and Industries Qatar rising 2.2 percent.

Egypt's blue-chip index added 0.7 percent on Sunday, continuing to hover at a four-month high, with Commercial International Bank increasing 1 percent.

Oman’s stock market was closed for a public holiday, Bahrain’s index edged 0.1 percent lower and Kuwait’s premier market index added 0.7 percent.

Currencies

The dollar was mainly flat on Monday.

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed on Monday at 98.821.

Precious metals

Gold prices rose early on Monday as investors flew away from equities.

Spot gold was 0.6 percent higher at $1,528.31 per ounce at 0048 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.5 percent at $1,537.70 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

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