Financial Markets

Asia Down, Europe Up after Wall Street Recovery

By JOE McDONALD AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks declined Thursday while Europe opened higher following Wall Street’s rebound amid uncertainty about U.S.-Chinese trade tensions.

Market benchmarks in London and Frankfurt advanced in early trading while Shanghai and Tokyo declined.

Investors were looking for news about the outlook for U.S.-Chinese trade negotiations following confusion over President Donald Trump’s conflicting statements about the status of talks.

Negotiators are due to meet in September but there has been no sign of progress. Investors worry the spiraling tariff war over trade and technology could tip the global economy into recession.

“Investors are growing more and more uncertain,” Hannah Anderson of JP Morgan Asset Management said in a report.

Markets are less sensitive to each announcement of U.S. and Chinese tariff hikes, but “we will likely continue to see downward price action at the announcements of new measures,” Anderson said.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8% to 7,176.16 in early trading and Frankfurt’s DAX advanced 0.8% to 11,800.11. France’s CAC 40 gained 1.1% to 5,427.28.

On Wall Street, futures for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.6%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1% to 2,890.92 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.1% to 20,460.93. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.3% at 25,703.50.

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.4% to 1,933.41 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was up 0.1% at 6,507.40. New Zealand declined while Taiwan and Singapore gained.

On Wednesday, Wall Street closed broadly higher, recovering from the previous day’s losses. Traders looking for safety snapped up U.S. government bonds.

Retailers, health care and industrial companies notched solid gains. Financial and energy stocks also helped power the rally.

The S&P 500 rose 0.7% and the Dow climbed 1%. The Nasdaq gained 0.4%.

Bond buying drove long-term bonds further below short-term ones. That inversion of the U.S. yield curve is a rare phenomenon that has correctly predicted previous recessions.

The yield of the 10-year Treasury fell below that of the two-year Treasury for a second day. The 10-year yield slid to 1.47%, down from 1.49% late Tuesday. The two-year dropped to 1.50% from 1.52%.

When the U.S. yield curve inverted earlier this month for the first time since 2007, it led to a sell-off. This week, investors’ reaction has been more muted.

U.S. economic growth slowed to an annual rate of 2.1% in the April-June quarter from 3.1% in the first quarter.

While an inverted yield curve has preceded every U.S. recession, it is not a signal that one is imminent. It has taken 14 to 34 months for past recessions to begin following a yield curve inversion.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 21 cents to $55.99 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 85 cents on Wednesday to close at $55.78. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 15 cents to $59.78 per barrel in London. It rose 90 cents the previous session to $59.93.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 106.28 yen from Wednesday’s 106.11 yen. The euro declined to $1.1076 from $1.1078.

COPYRIGHT: Associated Press

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.