Asian stocks gave up earlier gains and fell on Thursday. Chinese markets were fixed steadily on risks from the China-US trade war. The effects of the apparent easing in the business tensions in North America and Europe had little effect on the said stocks.
Spreadbetters anticipated the European stocks to start the session mixed. Britain’s FTSE and Germany’s DAX both slipped about 0.1 percent while France’s CAC gained up 0.05 percent.
The leaders of the United States and Canada seemed optimistic on Wednesday, saying that the NAFTA negotiations would meet the deadline on Friday to reach a deal, days after the US and the Mexico reached a bilateral agreement.
However, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan slipped 0.3 percent as broad gains across the region were offset by the losses in China.
The Shanghai Composite Index decreased 0.9 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.8 percent.
“Investors are relatively pessimistic and cautious for now and low levels of trading volume, as there are still concerns over the development of the Sino-US trade spat,” stated Yan Kaiwen, who is an analyst with China Fortune Securities.
US tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods are expected to take effect next month.
Australian stocks were basically flat. Japan’s blue-chip Nikkei initially touched a 3-month high after the gains on Wall Street but pared gains and was last up 0.05 percent.
South Korea’s KOSPI was a trifle lower.
On the other hand, huge South Korean steelmakers like POSCO and Hyundai Steel perked up after the news that said US President Donald Trump has just signed a proclamation allowing targeted relief from steel and aluminum quotas from countries, South Korea included.
US shares prolonged their rally. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq reached record highs for a fourth straight session with technology stocks pushing indexes higher and promising NAFTA negotiations bolstering investor confidence.
Further, Canada has rejoined talks to modernize the 24-year-old NAFTA after the other two parties, Mexico and the US, announced that they have reached a bilateral trade deal on Monday. This announcement has aided global equities to start the week on stronger stance.
The White House has stated that it wants to settle NAFTA before it deals with China.
Meanwhile, the pound was a tad stronger with the easing fears of a “hard Brexit” after the European Union’s chief exit negotiator hinted at an accommodative stance towards London during the ongoing talks.
The sterling reached 3-and-a-half week high of $1.3039, extending its gains after swelling more than 1 percent overnight.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback’s strength against a basket of six other major currencies, floundered near a four-week low of 94.434 fetched on Tuesday, dragged by the pound’s strength.
The dollar has also been on the defensive during this week with the safe-haven demand for the currency decreasing in the aftermath of the improving risk sentiment in the broader markets.
The euro was 0.15 percent lower at $1.1693, giving up the previous day’s gains. The dollar was flat at 111.65 yen after jumping 0.4 percent overnight.
The Chinese yuan dropped about 0.2 percent, hitting a six-day low to 6.8332 per dollar in onshore trade.
Furthermore, investors kept a cautious eye on the Turkish lira, which extended losses and retreated to a two-week slump after Moody’s downgraded 20 Turkish banks in a further blow to a country that is already gripped by a financial crisis and stuck in a diplomatic row with the United States.