Global Stocks Mixed as U.S.-China Tensions Simmer
By Chong Koh Ping
International stocks wavered, as investors braced for President
Trump's response to China's push for tighter security controls on
By early Friday afternoon in Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng
Index had declined 0.6%. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.2% lower,
while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 retreated 0.8%.
Indexes in South Korea and Shanghai recouped earlier losses to
turn slightly positive, rising 0.3% or less. S&P 500 futures
were down 0.2%.
Colin Low, senior macro analyst at FSMOne.com in Singapore, said
optimism over the reopening of economies could be overriding
concerns over heightened U.S.-China tensions, helping markets pare
"Markets will be watching what Trump will do or say in his press
conference later today," he said, as investors are concerned about
potential concrete actions by either the U.S. or China.
Any U.S. measures on trade or against Chinese companies, and any
Chinese retaliation, could have a greater impact than previous
actions taken before the new coronavirus battered both economies,
U.S. stock indexes closed lower Thursday after President Trump
said he would hold a press conference about China on Friday. The
three major gauges fell between 0.2% and 0.6%.
On Thursday, China's legislature approved a resolution to impose
national-security laws on Hong Kong. That sets the country on a
collision course with the U.S., which has accused Beijing of
reneging on its pledge to respect the city's self-governance.
Weakness in the Chinese yuan has reflected heightened tensions
between the world's two largest economies. A weaker yuan could help
China's economy by making its exports more competitive, but risks
provoking U.S. criticism that Beijing is manipulating its
The People's Bank of China set a daily midpoint for trading of
the onshore yuan at 7.1316 to the dollar, fixing this level at a
fresh 12-year low for the third time this week.
By early afternoon in Hong Kong, the less tightly controlled
offshore yuan strengthened slightly to 7.1659 to the dollar, while
the onshore yuan stood at 7.1478. Earlier this week, the offshore
yuan, which started trading in 2010, came close to the all-time
weak levels that it hit in September.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to
0.664%, from 0.703%. Bond yields fall as prices rise.
Brent crude, the global gauge of crude-oil prices, fell 0.8% to
$35.73 a barrel.
Write to Chong Koh Ping at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 29, 2020 02:45 ET (06:45 GMT)
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