Stocks in Asia declined on low volumes as investors assessed the latest news on trade talks and awaited more clues on monetary policy.
Japanese and Australian equities bore the brunt of losses, with stocks also lower in Hong Kong and China. The S&P 500 Index closed lower as U.S. President Donald Trump showed no urgency to resolve trade friction with China and renewed his call for a “big” Federal Reserve rate cut. Benchmark 10-year yields steadied after retreating Tuesday, as did the dollar after slipping from this year’s high.
Just a day after markets cheered progress on trade negotiations, investors took a more cautious approach. Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, speaks with business leaders this week amid concerns about a recession, the trade war and whipsawing markets. Fed minutes are due Wednesday and though they’re outdated given recent market turmoil and likely to be overshadowed by Jerome Powell’s address at Jackson Hole, they may provide clarity on the economic outlook that would push officials to keep lowering rates.
“The global economy is slowing, monetary policy has limits and we’re likely not going to pivot soon enough to fiscal policy,” Mark Kiesel, chief investment officer of global credit at Pacific Investment Management Co., told Bloomberg TV. “The reality is that risks have increased a lot.”
Elsewhere, oil fluctuated and gold dipped. Italian bonds jumped on Tuesday as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned, with the prospect of an alternative coalition still on the table.
Here are some notable events coming up:
- Minutes of the Fed’s July meeting will provide details on the discussions leading to the first interest-rate cut in a decade when they are released on Wednesday.
- Germany will sell a 30-year bond at a 0% coupon for the first time on Wednesday, in a flurry of debt sales in the next two weeks offering negative rates.
- Thursday brings the Bank Indonesia rate decision and press conference with Governor Perry Warjiyo.
- Flash PMIs are due for the euro area on Thursday.
- Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank hosts its annual central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, starting Thursday. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will give remarks on Friday.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- Futures on the S&P 500 added 0.2% to 9:30 a.m. in Hong Kong. The underlying gauge fell 0.8% Tuesday.
- Japan’s Topix index declined 0.9%.
- The Shanghai Composite slid 0.2%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.4%.
- South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.1%.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 1%.
- The yen was at 106.34 per dollar, down 0.1%.
- The offshore yuan was steady at 7.0673 per dollar.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged higher.
- The euro bought $1.1095, little changed.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 1.56%.
- Australia’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to 0.91%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2% to $56.24 a barrel.
- Gold dipped 0.1% to $1,505.15 an ounce.