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Asian Stocks Subdued On More Trade Woe, Emerging Currencies Hit

Asian Stocks Subdued On More Trade Woe, Emerging Currencies Hit

2018-08-31 05:09:00
David Cottle, Analyst

Asian Stocks Talking Points:

  • Most regional stock markets were weaker, if not by very much
  • Investors looked to the US, fearing another ramp up in Washington’s trade spat with China
  • Indonesia’s Rupiah caught another dose of emerging market blues

The DailyFX Third-Quarter Fundamental and Technical Forecasts are out now,

Asian stocks were broadly weaker Friday as trade tensions bubbles once more to the surface.

A report from Bloomberg claimed that Donald Trump told Presidential aides that he supported going ahead with a proposed additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. The piece also said that the President had yet to make up his mind entirely on the matter and the White House itself reportedly declined to comment on it anyway.

Still, stock markets clearly disliked this reminder of the trade impasse and most regional bourses were lower, if not by very much. The Nikke and Shanghai Composite were both down by less than 0.1%, with the ASX 200 down 0.3%. Seoul’s Kospi managed to buck the trend and end a little higher.

The US Dollar caught what is becoming its customary haven bid as emerging market currencies were whacked by Argentina’s credit worries. Indonesia’s Rupiah hit its lowest point against the US Dollar since the financial crisis, cementing its position as of the worst performing Asian currencies this year.

US Dolalr Vs Indonesian Rupiah, Daily Chart.

Regional economic data came in broadly as expected. Japan’s jobless rate inched higher while China’s manufacturing sector continued to expand.

Crude oil prices slipped back as the market returned to worrying about what effects a trade war might have on demand. Gold prices rose a little too, although the stronger US Dollar probably kept a lid on gains.

There is a bit of life left in Friday’s economic calendar. Eurozone Consumer Price Index numbers are coming up, as is the University of Michigan’s monthly consumer sentiment snapshot.

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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Follow David on Twitter@DavidCottleFX or use the Comments section below to get in touch!

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