|31 July, 2019

Wednesday outlook: Asian shares drop amid renewed trade tensions

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.7% to the lowest since June 19, while Japan's Nikkei declined by 1%

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Turning Point USA's Teen Student Action Summit in Washington, U.S., July 23, 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Turning Point USA's Teen Student Action Summit in Washington, U.S., July 23, 2019.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
  • Asian shares retreat on Trump comments
  • Oil prices gain close to 0.7 percent
  • Dubai’s index rises 1.1 percent
  • Dollar and gold prices unchanged

Global markets

Asian shares dropped early on Wednesday on renewed trade tensions between the United States and China, after U.S. President Trump warned China against waiting out his current presidential term before finalising a trade deal.

As a new round of U.S.-China trade negotiations started in Shanghai, Trump tweeted that, if he wins re-election in November 2020, the outcome could be no agreement or a harsher one.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.7% to the lowest since June 19, while Japan's Nikkei declined by 1%.

Major Wall Street stock averages ended slightly lower on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 .SPX losing 0.26%.

Investors will also be looking at the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the day, with high expectations on the Fed cutting interest rates.

“We expect the Fed to cut rates by 25 basis points and keep the door open to further rate cuts, which should be sufficient to keep markets satisfied,” Mayank Mishra, a macro strategist at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore, told Reuters.

“U.S.-China trade talks have just started after a long hiatus. I don’t think expectations are that high.”

Oil prices

Oil prices rose on Wednesday on a drop in U.S. inventories.

Crude stockpiles fell again last week, along with gasoline and distillate inventories, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.

Brent crude LCOc1 was up 44 cents, or 0.7%, at $65.16 a barrel by 0324 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 gained 41 cents, or 0.7%, to $58.46 a barrel.

“The market is quite optimistic leading into what the Fed is going to do on interest rates and as a result of that we’ll see more demand,” Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Probis Group in Sydney, told Reuters by phone, referring to the widely expected cut.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.1 percent on Tuesday as Al Rajhi Bank gained 1% and Riyad Bank gained 2.4%.

Dubai's index rose 1.1%, boosted by real estate and financial stocks. Emaar Properties gained 1.5%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index closed 0.6% lower. Emirates Telecom Group slipped 1.4% and the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, edged down 0.5%.

Qatar's index slipped 0.1%, primarily driven by a 2% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Egypt's blue-chip index was down 0.4%, with El Sewedy Electric dropping 7.9%.

Kuwait’s premier market index dropped 0.5%, while Bahrain’s index added 0.7% and Oman’s index edged up 0.1%.

Currencies

The dollar firmed on Wednesday ahead of the Fed meeting.

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, stood little changed at 98.055.

Precious metals

Gold was unchanged early on Wednesday.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,428.54 per ounce as of 0114 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,441.50 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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