Asian investors battled to finish a volatile week with some stability Friday as they weigh the outlook for China-US trade talks and uncertainty in oil markets, while looking ahead to the release of key US jobs data.
Hong Kong, (Pakistan Point News - 7th Dec, 2018 ) :Asian investors battled to finish a volatile week with some stability Friday as they weigh the outlook for China-US trade talks and uncertainty in oil markets, while looking ahead to the release of key US jobs data.
After the furious selling of the past two days, there was some optimism after a report said the Federal Reserve could slow down its pace of interest rate hikes next year, providing some much-needed relief to under-pressure dealers.
The general mood across trading floors is of unease, just days after the euphoria of Donald Trump's tariffs ceasefire deal with China's Xi Jinping at the G20 that put the row off for 90 days while they try to resolve the crisis.
That was compounded by news that a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei had been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the US over allegations the firm had broken sanctions linked to Iran.
"Statement from China: 'The teams of both sides are now having smooth communications and good cooperation with each other. We are full of confidence that an agreement can be reached within the next 90 days.' I agree!" he wrote.
But Hong Kong ended down 0.4 percent after a late sell-off.
- Bad timing - Providing some support were hopes the Fed will not hike borrowing costs as much as previously expected over the next year.
Bank head Jerome Powell, who has grown more dovish in recent weeks, remains upbeat and attention will be closely on the release of key non-farm payrolls figures Friday.
"But when you laminate trade war issues with observed dovish shifts from major central banks, it merely adds a whole new level of unwanted confusion entering year-end." He added: "I'm trying to suggest... we were going through a market-driven event rather than a meaningful shift to the dark economic side that had all the doom and 'gloomers' coming out of their caves this week." Oil prices extended their losses on worries that a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers will not see a hoped-for cut in output.
Markets have been spooked after the cartel called off a planned news conference Thursday that was expected to see a reduction announced, while Saudi Arabia oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said he was "not confident" and "not everybody is ready to cut equally".
Prices are now only slightly above last week's levels, before a Monday-Tuesday rally sparked by comments from President Vladimir Putin that Russia and the Saudis had agreed to shut the taps in light of a production glut.
- Key figures around 0820 GMT - Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.8 percent at 21,678.68 (close) Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.4 percent at 26,063.76 (close) Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 2,605.89 (close) London - FTSE 100: UP 0.8 percent at 6,755.44 Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 50 cents at $50.99 per barrel Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 58 cents at $59.48 per barrel Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1371 from $1.1381 at 2130 GMT Dollar/yen: UP at 112.80 Yen from 112.69Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2770 from $1.2783New York - Dow Jones: DOWN 0.3 percent at 24,947.67 (close)