Skip to main content

Asian shares were struggling to avoid a ninth straight session of losses on Tuesday as the spectre of a Sino-U.S. trade war haunted investors, while the pound perched near a five-week top on hints a Brexit deal might be nearer.

Japan’s Nikkei fared better on the back of a softer yen and rallied 1 per cent.

Weighing on the yen was news Japanese chipmaker Renesas was buying U.S. peer Integrated Device Technology for about $6.7-billion in cash.

Story continues below advertisement

Yet, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.34 per cent to hit its lowest since July last year.

Most bourses in the region nursed modest losses with Shanghai blue chips off 0.3 per cent and South Korea 0.4 per cent as investors awaited the next round of trade hostilities.

Having warned last week that he was ready to levy additional taxes on practically all Chinese imports, U.S. President Donald Trump was uncharacteristically quiet on trade on Monday.

China has cautioned it will respond if the United States takes any new steps on trade.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will meet the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington on Tuesday for another round of talks to renew the NAFTA trade pact.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq eked out gains to end four sessions of losses but stocks of insurers slipped as Hurricane Florence barrelled toward the U.S. east coast.

The Dow fell 0.23 per cent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.19 per cent and the Nasdaq 0.27 per cent.

Story continues below advertisement

BETTING ON BREXIT

In currency markets, sterling stood out after the European Union’s top negotiator said an agreement for Britain to leave the economic bloc might be reached in the coming weeks.

The pound has been under pressure on anxiety that Britain would exit from the EU without any formal trading arrangement.

Sterling clambered up to $1.3032, after firming 0.8 per cent overnight.

The euro held at $1.1586, hemmed between support at $1.1524 and resistance at $1.1659.

It had been aided by an easing in concerns over Italian debt which left the gap between yields on Italian and more creditworthy German bonds at the narrowest in a month.

Against a basket of major currencies the dollar was 0.1 per cent firmer at 95.239. It gained on the yen to 111.40 , but remained within recent ranges.

Story continues below advertisement

Emerging market currencies were under pressure with a broad index down near 16-month lows and the Indian rupee near a record trough of 72.675 per dollar.

“Weakness is set to remain a recurring theme amid global trade tensions, a broadly stronger dollar and prospects of higher U.S. interest rates,” said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at broker FXTM.

“With turmoil in Turkey and Argentina triggering contagion fears, appetite for emerging market assets and currencies is likely to continue diminishing.”

In commodity markets, gold was stuck at $1,193.54 an ounce and continues to move in the opposite direction to the dollar.

Oil prices found support from looming U.S. sanctions against Iran’s petroleum industry.

Brent was 13 cents firmer at $77.50 a barrel, while U.S. crude inched up 4 cents to $67.58.

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter