JULY 6, 2018

Asian share markets were set for a bumpy ride on Friday just hours ahead of a U.S. deadline to impose tariffs on Chinese imports, which has rattled financial markets in recent weeks as investors feared it could trigger a full-blown global trade war.

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed that the United States would begin collecting tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports at 12:01 a.m. Washington time (0401 GMT) on Friday, and warned that subsequent rounds could see tariffs imposed on more than $500 billion worth of goods.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index was 1.1 percent higher after closing at a three-month low on Thursday, while Australian shares gained 0.2 percent. Seoul’s Kospi index edged up 0.2 percent. In Thursday’s Wall Street session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.75 percent, the S&P 500 0.86 percent and the Nasdaq Composite 1.12 percent.

But newly released minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting on June 12-13 showed policymakers discussed whether recession lurked around the corner, and expressed concerns global trade tensions could hit an economy that by most measures looked strong.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was at 2.8364 percent. The two-year yield, which rises with traders’ expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 2.5527 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.561 percent.

Gold, which is sensitive to rising interest rates, was flat. Spot gold traded at $1257.63 per ounce.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, turned down 0.1 percent to 94.365.

Oil prices ticked up after falling on U.S. government data that showed an unexpected jump in crude oil stockpiles. U.S. crude rose 0.2 percent at $73.08 a barrel. Brent crude was also 0.2 percent higher at $77.52 per barrel.

© 2018 Reuters. All Rights Reserved.

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