world markets


Euro zone bond yields renew slide, Italian yields at lowest since 2016

LONDON, July 17 — Euro area government bond yields tumbled on Wednesday after comments by US Federal Reserve officials reinforced expectations they would cut interest rates this month and suggested they are debating how deep that cut should be….

Asian markets sink, gold extends gains as Iran warns on sanctions

HONG KONG, June 25 — Increasing concerns about a conflict between the United States and Iran hit equity markets today and sent gold prices to a fresh six-year high, jolting investor confidence days ahead of crucial trade talks between Donald Trump…

Asian markets sink, gold extends gains as Iran warns on sanctions

HONG KONG, June 25 — Increasing concerns about a conflict between the United States and Iran hit equity markets today and sent gold prices to a fresh six-year high, jolting investor confidence days ahead of crucial trade talks between Donald Trump…

Oil rises again on tension fuelled by tanker attacks

LONDON, June 14 — Oil prices rose again today in reaction to geopolitical tension, building on the previous day’s surge sparked by suspected attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The US government blamed Iran for mysterious explosions on…

Slide in euro zone bond yields stalls for now

LONDON, June 11 ― Longer-dated euro zone government bonds led a selloff in the bloc today, as a pick up in risk sentiment globally took the shine off a stellar rally in fixed income. Thirty-year bond yields in Germany and France were up as much as…

Tokyo stocks close lower on stronger yen, trade worries

TOKYO, June 3 — Tokyo stocks closed lower today amid escalating global trade tensions, with a stronger yen also weighing on the market. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended down 0.92 per cent, or 190.31 points, at 20,410.88, while the broader…

Asian shares slip, bonds rally on global growth fears

SYDNEY, May 29 ― Asian shares stumbled today and global bonds rallied as investors fretted over the outlook for world growth with trade tensions between Washington and Beijing showing no signs of abating. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific…

Asian markets track big losses on Wall St after China retaliates

HONG KONG: Asian markets extended a global sell-off Tuesday following hefty losses on Wall Street that came in response to China’s hike in tariffs on $60 billion of US imports, ramping up tensions in a trade war between the global economic titans.

The move by Beijing was followed by a warning of further action such as dumping US Treasuries and came days after Washington more than doubled levies on $200 billion of Chinese goods and Donald Trump said he was looking at more than $300 billion more.

The stand-off has sent shockwaves through trading floors, where most dealers had a little over a week ago been confident the two sides were close to a deal.

World markets have rallied for most of the year on the back of optimism about an agreement.

In early trade, Hong Kong led losses as the market reopened after a long weekend. The Hang Seng Index sank 1.7 percent while Shanghai shed 0.2 percent and Tokyo was off 0.7 percent at the break.

Sydney and Singapore each dropped more than one percent, with Manila and Jakarta both down 1.6 percent.

There were also losses in Taipei and Wellington, though Seoul edged up slightly.

“Uncertainty and short-term sentiment impact is likely to stay,” Medha Samant, director of investment at Fidelity International, told Bloomberg TV.

“In the short term, it looks like volatility is here to stay and we could see this risk-off, risk-on going on for a long time.”

The retreat came after the Nasdaq on Wall Street suffered its worst day of 2019 and the Dow ended at its lowest point in more than three months.

Risk of volatility

After announcing the higher tariffs, the editor of Communist Party-owned Chinese newspaper Global Times warned Beijing could also hit the US by offloading Treasuries, ending US agricultural purchases and reducing orders for Boeing airplanes.

OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley warned there could be worse to come.

“Given that equity markets are so far behind the curve in repricing the risk to the new-world reality, equities could be in for an extended period of pain,” he said in a note.

However, while there is a lot of fear about an all-out trade war, which could batter the world economy, both said talks will continue, though no date has been set for the next round.

Also, Trump said he had a feeling talks with China will be “very successful” and that he intended to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at next month’s G20 summit.

“An eventual agreement still seems the most likely outcome, although political miscalculation is a rising risk,” said Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

“However, differences on key issues and in negotiating styles may spark more market volatility ahead.”

On currency markets the yuan — which has fallen more than two percent since Trump last week threatened to hike tariffs — edged up slightly against the dollar, while the greenback was also slightly lower against the pound and euro.

And oil prices edged up after Monday’s losses as concerns about the impact on demand from the trade war offset geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, the crisis in Venezuela and “sabotage attacks” on two Saudi Arabian oil tankers.

“Supply-side disruptions along with simmering US-Iran tensions have supported oil prices however as market fundamentals remain tight for the current term,” said Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

“Oil prices have struggled to retain bullish gains as the Sino-US trade dispute clouds economic outlook for the coming term.”

Asian markets track big losses on Wall Street after China retaliates

HONG KONG, May 14 — Asian markets extended a global sell-off today following hefty losses on Wall Street that came in response to China’s hike in tariffs on US$60 billion (RM250.2 billion) of US imports, ramping up tensions in a trade war…

Asian markets resume downward spiral on growing trade fears

HONG KONG: A red wave swept across Asia trading floors Wednesday as investors grow increasingly concerned that the China-US trade deal, which appeared all by ready to sign, could fall through.

After months of healthy gains across markets this year, Donald Trump’s threat to hike tariffs on a raft of Chinese imports from Friday sent shockwaves around the world and rekindled the spectre of a painful trade war between the planet’s biggest economies.

And while Beijing insisted it would still send its top negotiator to planned talks in the US on Thursday and Friday, observers said confidence has been shattered, with uncertainty reigning ahead of the high-stakes meeting.

“The two largest economic powerhouses, the US and China, either will be at a trade war or a trade peace and in reality there’s only a couple of people who know the answer to that and it isn’t those of us on Wall Street,” said Larry Robbins, CEO of Glenview Capital Management.

“It’s to be expected that there’s some volatility into this critical week,” he told Bloomberg TV.

Asian markets staged a minor recovery Tuesday following the previous day’s pummelling, which came in response to Trump’s warning. But a blowout on Wall Street continued in Asia, with investors running for the hills.

Shanghai and Hong Kong each tanked one percent and Tokyo shed 1.6 percent by the break.

Sydney fell 0.4 percent, Singapore dropped 0.8 percent and Seoul retreated 0.3 percent, with Manila more than one percent lower.

Taipei and Jakarta also sank, while a first interest rate cut in five years was not enough to prevent Wellington dropping 0.5 percent.

Inevitable reversal

And Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management warned there could be worse to come.

“With the possibility of the trade deal in tatters, markets could turn upside down,” he said in a note. “Indeed, the relentless bull market seemed impervious to risk, but (that) spawned a high degree of complacency that leaves most market participants ill-prepared for the inevitable reversal.”

He added: “While the impact of more tariffs will be harmful to both the US and China economies, it is hard to overlook the damaging effect on other economies in Asia.”

World markets had already been showing signs of fatigue from their run this year, with signs of a slowdown in the world economy playing on investors’ minds, while central banks have turned more dovish in recent months with an eye on this.

OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said the trade deal was “the critical determinant of how deep or shallow the downturn will be”.

He added: “With global interest rates mostly at, or near, record lows except for the US, the world’s central banks are ill-placed to cut rates to stimulate growth, as they reap the harvest of their excessively easy monetary policies over the last 10 years.

“In this context, the importance of the trade deal can be clearly noted.”

Dealers are keeping tabs on the release later in the day of Chinese trade data, which will be followed by the same figures from the United States.

On oil markets both main contracts edged up after buckling Tuesday under trade fears.

But observers are tipping a rough near-term for prices as supply gaps from Venezuela and Iran have been filled, while there is concern OPEC and Russia might not extend their output caps past next month, despite US production and stockpiles rising. – AFP