Connect with us

Asian stocks dip on trade — emerging market woes



Asian stocks dropped for the third consecutive session on Monday, hit by worries over further escalation of the U.S-China trade war and unstable emerging market currencies.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.7 percent while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 shed 0.5 percent though trade could be subdued due to a U.S. market holiday on Monday.


“It looks almost certain that (U.S. President Donald) Trump will impose 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Trump said last week he was ready to implement the new tariffs as soon as a public comment period on the plan ends on Thursday, which would be a major escalation given the United States has already applied tariffs on $50 on of exports from China.

Shanghai shares .SSEC, which fell 5.3 percent last month on worries about the trade war, dropped 0.9 percent to 2,700, edging back at the 2 1/2-year low of 2,653 set two weeks ago.

“The markets tend to think ahead. After the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese exports, they will worry what can come next. Unless the trade war anxiety is dispelled, you cannot rule out the possibility of shares falling further,” said Shenshen Wan, Strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research.

On the other hand U.S. stocks, especially technology shares, have fared better, thanks in part to the strength of current economic data and corporate profits.


The Nasdaq index .IXIC gained 5.7 percent last month, with Apple (AAPL.O) gaining almost 20 percent, the biggest percentage gains since April 2009.

Major economic U.S. data due this week, such as a manufacturing survey on Tuesday and an employment report on Friday, is also expected to show solid conditions, possibly underpinning Wall Street shares.

“U.S. shares and only a handful of countries are likely to continue to attract global funds,” said Mitsubishi’s Fujito.


Trade war worries have lifted the safe-haven Swiss franc, which hit a four-month high of 0.9654 franc to the dollar CHF= and one-year high of 1.1240 per euro EURCHF= on Friday. It last stood at 0.9699 and 1.1250.

In contrast, the Australian dollar AUD=D3, sometimes used as a proxy for bets on China, hit a 20-month low of $0.71655.


Among the G3 currencies, the euro, which is generally positively correlated to risk sentiment, tends to ease on trade worries while the yen tends to gain but the two currencies’ reactions have been more qualified.

Both currencies have been pinned in a narrow range, with the euro trading little changed at $1.1600 EUR=. The yen changed hands at 111.12 per dollar JPY=, also flat.

Investors remained wary of emerging market currencies after sharp sell-offs in the Argentine’s peso and the Turkish lira last month on worries over their economic management, big current account deficits and inflation.


That spilled over to a few other emerging countries that share some of those traits, albeit to a less degree.

The Indonesian rupiah IDR=ID fell to 14,777 to the dollar, its lowest levels since the country’s economic crisis two decades ago.

The Turkish lira stood at 6.6200 per dollar TRYTOM=D3 in early Monday trade, down about 1 percent.

Oil prices dipped on Monday on rising supply from OPEC and the United States, although expectations of falling Iranian output once U.S. sanctions take effect in November provided some support.


Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 fell 0.4 percent to $77.35 per barrel, slipping further from Thursday’s seven-week high of $78.03 per barrel.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 fetched $69.82 per barrel, down 0.3 percent and off $70.50 marked on Thursday, their highest levels since July 20.

Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Eric Meijer

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
Continue Reading


Sweden to give ‘new information’ on Assange rape probe



The Swedish Prosecution Authority said Monday it will provide an update with "new information" this week on a probe into a 2010 rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The investigation concerns events which took place in August 2010 after a Swedish woman met the Australian at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm.

Assange has always denied the allegation.

In a statement, the prosecution agency said it was planning a press conference on Tuesday at 1300 GMT when the prosecutor will give a briefing on the "investigative measures taken" and "provide new information".

Continue Reading


Sondland’s life ‘is on the block’ — and he could ‘give up the president’ to save himself: Watergate’s John Dean



On Monday's edition of CNN's "New Day," former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean suggested that the most precarious and most consequential witness in this week's impeachment hearings will be EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland — because he is facing accusations of lying to Congress and has the most at stake.

"I submit, we will see the one who saw Roger Stone get convicted on seven counts of lying and witness tampering on Friday and the one who will testify under penalty of perjury in public on Wednesday," said anchor John Berman. "How much do you think that does and should weigh on him?"

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Bill Barr’s fascist manifesto: Is this man the real threat to American democracy?



The biggest moment in former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's impeachment-hearing testimony on Friday was when House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told her that President Trump was attacking her on Twitter as she was speaking.

Trump's defenders came out in force, offering various explanations for his mob-like behavior. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has been arguing that Trump was just testing the Ukrainians to see if they would fall into his trap and prove they were corrupt. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., using the abusive-husband excuse, insisted that it's Trump's political opponents who make him behave the way he does — they are "tormenting" him and should have just covered up his crimes for the good of the country. It's clear that the only thing they can settle on is the inane story that Trump prefers: He did absolutely nothing wrong and anyone who says otherwise is a partisan hack acting in bad faith.

Continue Reading
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.