Sydney: Stocks in Asia fell with emerging-market currencies after the latest US move to place a further tranche of tariffs on Chinese goods and amid signs some central banks are struggling to stabilize their currencies. The dollar maintained gains.
Asian stocks decline as trade concerns resurface
Shares in Hong Kong and China led declines, with Japanese markets closed for a holiday, after news that President Donald Trump instructed aides to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products. Copper and nickel dragged industrial metals lower, while emerging-market currencies weakened, led by a slide in India’s rupee and the Korean won. Futures signaled small losses for stocks when trading starts in London and New York. The 10-year Treasury yield hit 3% on Friday.
Equities in Asia had made an attempt to rebound at the end of last week amid some signs the U.S. and China will enter talks and calm trade concerns. That was upended Friday when people familiar with the matter said Trump gave his aides instructions to proceed with more tariffs despite his Treasury Secretary’s attempt to restart talks with Beijing. China is considering declining the Trump administration’s offer of trade talks later this month after this fresh threats of tariffs from Washington, the Wall Street Journal reported.
India’s rupee tumbled as traders deemed the latest measures by the authorities to rein in the currency’s decline as inadequate.
Elsewhere, oil pared gains from Friday ahead of an OPEC meeting in Algiers. Russian and Saudi Arabian energy ministers met in Moscow at the weekend and both confirmed a commitment to stability in the market.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 1.3% as of 2:12 p.m. in Hong Kong. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.7%. Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1%. India’s S&P BSE Sensex lost 1.1%, extending two weeks of declines. Futures on the S&P 500 were down 0.2%. The underlying gauge rose less than 0.1% Friday. Futures on the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.2%.
The yen gained 0.1% to 111.98 per dollar. China’s offshore yuan was little changed at 6.8741 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index ticked lower after increasing 0.3% Friday. Indian rupee dropped more than 1% to reach 72.6725 per dollar, adding to three previous weeks of declines. The euro bought $1.1631, up 0.1%.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries edged lower to 2.99 at 7:19 a.m. in London. It rose three basis points to 3% Friday. Australia’s 10-year bond yield added two basis points to 2.62%.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.1% to $68.93 a barrel. Gold was little changed at $1,195.68 an ounce. LME copper lost 1% to $5,973 a metric ton.