Asian stocks fall on fears U.S.-China trade stalling
By Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks and Wall Street futures fell on Wednesday on growing worries U.S.-China trade talks are stalling after President Donald Trump failed to deliver any new information about when the two countries would sign a trade deal. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2%. Australian shares were down 0.17%, while Japan's Nikkei stock index slid 0.38%.
By Stanley White
TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks and Wall Street futures fell on Wednesday on growing worries U.S.-China trade talks are stalling after President Donald Trump failed to deliver any new information about when the two countries would sign a trade deal.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 0.2%. Australian shares <.AXJO> were down 0.17%, while Japan's Nikkei stock index <.N225> slid 0.38%.
The dollar drifted in Asia after Trump said a trade deal was "close" but gave no new details on when or where an agreement would be signed, disappointing investors in what was billed as a major speech on his administration's economic policies.
Trump also rattled some investors by threatening China with even more tariffs if they do not sign a deal.
Oil prices fell as diminishing prospects for an immediate resolution to a 16-month long trade war between the world's two-largest economies suggested less demand for energy in the future.
Expectations for a "phase one" trade deal some time this month have been a key factor supporting stocks and riskier assets recently. However, the lack of material progress on an agreement has only increased doubts about whether a trade deal will take place at all.
"I'm absolutely concerned. The clock is ticking," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
"Markets are now expecting substantial progress in the next week or so, and if not then confidence could crumble. There are diverging interpretations of Trump's comments. I tend to go with commodities like oil and copper because they are plugged in to global demand, so their fall is significant."
U.S. stock futures
Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on each other's goods in a bitter dispute over Chinese trade practices that the Trump administration says are unfair.
The standoff has roiled global financial markets and raised the risk of recession for some economies as global trade slows.
In recent weeks, both sides have indicated they were making progress toward an agreement that would potentially scale back some tariffs, but a lack of additional information is starting to unsettle some investors in equities and other riskier assets.
In a reminder of the potential for further friction, Trump said on Tuesday he would raise tariffs on Chinese goods "very substantially" if China does not agree a deal. "And that's going to be true for other countries that mistreat us too," he added.
In currencies, the dollar was just a shade lower at 108.99 yen
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes
In addition, China accounts for about half of the world's demand for copper, and many other metals.
(Editing by Sam Holmes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
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