Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Asian stocks lower on impending trade war

The week in the markets | Money Shanghai stocks rebound on China's firm stance on trade tension
Priscilla Morrison | 09 July, 2018, 08:41

Europe opened in the black on Friday, with London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gaining 0.3 percent. Germany's DAX gained less than 0.1 percent to 12,472.

Auto giants led the gains - buoyed by the headlines from Berlin - and tech stocks like Google parent company Alphabet and Facebook were also higher. S&P futures were down 0.2 percent while Dow futures fell 0.3 percent. Upbeat economic data and overnight gains on US stock markets helped temper concerns, though trading volume was light.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.92 percent, or 25.25 points, to 2,733.88, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, lost 2.20 percent, or 34.33 points.

In total, nine out of the world's 10 worst-performing stock indexes this week were from the region, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index and Shanghai Composite Index sinking 4 percent or more through Thursday's close. Markets in Taiwan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries were lower.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.1 percent to 21,788.13 in what appeared to be a technical rebound after a four-day losing streak.

More news: Over 18,500 Turkish public workers dismissed with new emergency state decree

The S&P 500 index rose 0.9 percent to 2,736.61.

"The market actually is acting very calmly", said Francis Lun, chief executive of GEO Securities Ltd.in Hong Kong.

But these could be just the first skirmishes in a trade war between the world's top two economies, with financial markets anxious about a knock-on effect on the wider global economy and the broader trading system.

The United States is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports from 0401 GMT on Friday and has warned it may ultimately target over $500 billion worth of goods, or roughly the total amount the United States imported from China previous year.

"The Chinese side, having vowed not to fire the first shot, is forced to stage counter-attacks to protect the core national interests and interests of its people", a Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said after the tariffs were imposed.

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