Asian Markets Lower, Looming Trump-Xi Meet Stifles Risk Appetite
- Asian markets slipped as a key meeting between the US and Chinese Presidents looms
- Worries about future liquidity-draining moves from the Federal Reserve didn’t lift the mood either
- The Dollar was a little lower
Stocks slipped in Asia Thursday ahead of a potentially fraught first meeting between US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping. A slightly weaker US Dollar didn’t help either.
The White House has been virulent in its criticism of countries which run persistent trade surpluses with the US, of which China is the most obvious. Markets will want to know how much if any of its rhetoric translates into trade policy. However, while trade and currency issues may top the agenda, there will be plenty of other issues for the Big Two to discuss, including North Korea’s nuclear program and its persistent weapon tests.
While investors waited the Nikkei 225 slipped 1.4% to touch its lowest point since December, while Australia’s ASX lost 0.6%. Sentiment was already fragile thanks to renewed worries about the Trump Administration’s legislative abilities. Moreover Wednesday’s minutes of the last US Federal Reserve policy meeting suggested that the central bank was considering reductions in the market-supportive bond purchases which have backstopped markets since the financial crisis.
Shares in Shanghai were flat after a private survey of China’s service sector showed expansion, but at a slower pace. Japanese data suggested that consumers were more upbeat than they’ve been since mid-2013, but this apparent confidence has not been reflected in recent retail surveys.
Another slip in US Treasury yields weighed on the US Dollar, which slipped against Asian rivals.
Crude oil prices ticked lower after Wednesday’s news of a surprise rise in US stockpiles. Gold prices held up around $1,260/ounce, as appetite for potentially riskier assets was clearly weaker ahead of the Florida summit. That aside, the rest of the session offers little in terms of big, scheduled market movers. Initial US jobless-claim numbers will probably top the bill.
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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.