Asian Stocks Sink on Trump Threats 11/13 06:30
Asian stocks sank Wednesday after President Donald Trump threatened more
tariff hikes on Chinese imports if talks aimed at ending a trade war fail to
produce an interim agreement.
BEIJING (AP) -- Asian stocks sank Wednesday after President Donald Trump
threatened more tariff hikes on Chinese imports if talks aimed at ending a
trade war fail to produce an interim agreement.
Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia all
Trump said Tuesday agreement on the "Phase 1" deal announced last month
"could happen soon." But he warned he was ready to raise tariffs "very
substantially" if that fails.
The two sides disagree publicly about whether Washington agreed to roll back
some punitive tariffs imposed in the fight over Beijing's trade surplus and
technology ambitions. The Chinese government said last week that was settled,
but Trump denied that.
Trump's comments "served as a reminder of the challenge that the two sides
face," said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. However, she said, investors saw them
as "positioning statements," reducing their impact.
Trump's comments did little to jolt Wall Street, which closed with modest
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 2,905.06 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225
sank 0.9% to 23,3154.90. Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 2% to 26,511.11.
South Korea's Kospi retreated 0.9% to 2,123.74 and Australia's S&P-ASX 200
sank 0.8% lower at 6,698.30. India's Sensex opened down 25 points at 40,319.59.
Taiwan, New Zealand and Singapore also declined.
Hong Kong shares have been jolted by growing violence in the anti-government
protests. Police shot a protester in a scuffle Monday and a man who was
defending China in an apparent argument was set on fire. Activists also this
week have damaged trains and transit stations while clashing with police using
tear gas and other crowd control measures.
The protests began in June over an extradition bill that was subsequently
withdrawn, but the movement expanded to demands for greater democracy, police
accountability and other grievances. The protests, the U.S.-China tariff war
and economic factors have sent Hong Kong tumbling into its first recession in a
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose past the 3,100 level for
the first time, but the gains didn't hold. The index ended up 0.2% at 3,091.84.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unchanged at 27,691.49. The Nasdaq
gained 0.3% to a record 8,486.09.
Momentum for the market has been mostly upward for more than five weeks as
worries about the U.S.-China trade war have eased, among other factors.
Health care, technology and communication services stocks led gains Tuesday,
outweighing losses in energy companies and elsewhere.
This week, the U.S. Labor Department is due to give updates on consumer and
wholesale inflation. Economists expect a government report to show retail sales
returned to growth in October.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is due to give testimony to Congress
on Wednesday about the U.S. economy. Most investors expect the Fed to keep
interest rates on hold for now after cutting them three times since the summer.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 25 cents to $56.56 per barrel in
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 6
cents on Tuesday to close at $56.80. Brent crude, used to price international
oils, shed 29 cents to $61.77 per barrel in London. It retreated 12 cents to
$62.06 the previous session.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 109.06 yen from Tuesday's 109.01 yen. The
euro advanced to $1.1013 from $1.1010.