Morning Report

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

  • Asian stocks were mixed in early Wednesday trade, with Japan lagging regional indexes.
  • Trade tensions remained in the spotlight ahead of a looming tariff deadline.
  • The dollar softened after recent gains.

Asian stocks were mixed early on Wednesday, with Japanese markets under-performing as trade jitters continued to simmer ahead of a deadline when tariffs are due to take effect.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.47 percent in the morning. South Korean stocks drifted slightly higher, with the Kospi edging up by 0.08 percent, while in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.23 percent.

Investor concerns over trade have intensified this week as they await U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products, which are set to kick in on Friday. The Chinese government has announced duties of its own that will target the same value of U.S. goods.

Apart from China, the U.S. is also engaged in disputes related to trade with several other trading partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The countries have either begun imposing or are due to start implementing duties on U.S. goods after being on the receiving end of the Trump administration’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Major U.S. indexes finished the shortened Tuesday session, which came a day before the Fourth of July holiday, in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.54 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.86 percent.

The dollar softened after its recent gains. The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of rivals, last stood at 94.671.The People’s Bank of China set the Yuan reference rate at 6.6595 vs previous day’s fix of 6.6497.

Source : Reuters

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