Friday, December 13, 2019 | ePaper

Asian markets mixed as dealers fret over US-China trade talks

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AFP, Hong Kong :
Asian markets were mixed Monday with investors gripped by concerns about the US-China trade war after Donald Trump said he was prepared to walk away from next month's planned talks.
The president's comments spooked US investors and added to the sense of pessimism across world trading floors after the White House last week announced fresh tariffs on China and labelled it a currency manipulator.
Beijing responded by halting all purchases of US agricultural goods. Trump said Friday it would be "fine" if the negotiations were called off, telling reporters: "We're not ready to make a deal but we'll see what happens." He added: "We have all the cards. We're doing well."
The negativity is being slightly offset by central banks' shift to softer monetary policy though there are growing concerns about the outlook for the global economy.
There was also some solace in remarks from key China hawk and top Trump adviser Peter Navarro, who said he still expected the talks to go ahead.
However, he raised concerns about Beijing's weak yuan and warned officials needed to move on key issues including subsidies to state firms, forced technology transfer and cyber intrusion.
"Equities remain sensitive to trade headlines even as some of the initial shock announcement of a new offensive to be launched on September 1 has worn off," said OANDA senior market analyst Alfonso Esparza.
"But with no clear olive branch being offered by either side the trade dispute has no end in sight, putting downward pressure on equities."

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