Stocks Mixed As New US-China Tariffs Kick In. Yen, Gold Gain
APAC Stocks Talking Points:
- Regional stocks were broadly lower but Shanghai managed gains
- China’s private manufacturing sector surprised to the upside
- Still, haven assets remained very much in demand
What do retail foreign exchange traders make of your favorite currency’s chances right now at the DailyFX Sentiment Page
Asia Pacific stocks put in a mixed Monday performance with mainland Chinese stocks doing perhaps surprisingly well despite the imposition over the weekend of yet more tariffs between that country and the US.
Washington raised trade barriers on a range of Chinese goods from televisions to footwear Saturday, with Beijing imposing new duties on US crude.
Still, a survey of private sector manufacturing in China found the sector expanding in August, against market expectations. Tech stocks were also given a lift by a statement from China’s State Council. It said on Sunday that great importance was attached to the development of high-tech and infrastructure.
The Shanghai Composite was up by a little more than 1% as its afternoon session got going. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down by 0.5% after another round of weekend protests against Beijing. Railway operator MTR saw its stocks plunge 3.2% following damage at multiple railway stations in the troubled territory.
Elsewhere the Nikkei slipped 0.4%. Data showing Japanese corporate profits down an ugly 12% in the second quarter can’t have helped. Australia’s ASX was down 0.5% in a generally risk averse environment. There were exceptions, however. Nickel producers Western Areas and Indpendence Group NL were both up strongly in response to a surge in the metal’s price, spurred on in turn by news of an Indonesian export ban.
In the foreign exchange space the Japanese Yen gained as investors preferred perceived haven assets, gold prices benefitted from the same impulse. The metal remains at highs not seen since early 2013 on its monthly chart.
Gold is supported not only by bald trade fears but by the prognosis that weaker global demand and lower interest rates will keep inflation docile and burnish its appeal by lowering the yield on other assets.
The lack of US market involvement as the Labor Day break takes place Monday is likely to see caution prevail through European hours.
Asia Pacific Stocks Resources for Traders
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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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