World markets subdued on trade, Brexit tensions
This is a file image of various stocks.
Annabelle Liang, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:54PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 16, 2018 8:39AM EST
SINGAPORE -- World markets were subdued on Friday as trade tensions and political risks surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union kept investor cautious.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC lost 0.2 per cent to 5,021 while Germany's DAX was down 0.1 per cent at 11,344. Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.3 per cent to 7,016. Wall Street was set for a weak open, with Dow futures down 0.4 per cent and S&P 500 futures 0.5 per cent lower.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.6 per cent to 21,680.34 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.3 per cent to 26,183.53. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2 per cent to 2,092.40. Australia's S&P ASX 200 was 0.1 per cent lower at 5,730.60. The Shanghai Composite index edged 0.4 per cent higher to 2,679.11. Shares in Southeast Asia mostly rose.
CHINA-U.S. TRADE: Markets were supported in Asian trading hours by a Financial Times report that said the United States' trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, has told some executives that a planned escalation in January of U.S. tariffs on imported goods from China is now on hold. The Trump administration has imposed a 10 per cent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology as the price of market access. That tariff had been due to rise to 25 per cent in January. Another $50 billion of Chinese goods already is subject to 25 per cent duties. Beijing has responded with penalty duties on $110 billion of American goods. Washington and Beijing resumed talks over their spiraling trade dispute this week ahead of a meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday.
BREXIT: Discord over British Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for Britain's departure from the European Union next year has shaken major European stock indexes and the pound. May persuaded a majority in her Cabinet to back an agreement that would allow Britain to stay in a customs union while a trade treaty is negotiated, but the deal faces an uncertain fate in Parliament and two of her Cabinet ministers, including the Brexit minister, resigned in protest.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 86 cents to $57.32 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 0.4 per cent to settle at $56.46 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained $1.12 to $67.74 a barrel. Despite the latest uptick, U.S. crude oil is still down about 12 per cent for the month.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 113.26 yen from 113.64 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1339 from $1.1326. The pound steadied at $1.2816, up from $1.2771.