Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Monday despite the positive cues from Wall Street Friday as investors treaded cautiously amid worries about global economic growth and on Saudi Arabia's rising diplomatic tensions with the West following the disappearance as well as suspected murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Crude oil prices also rose in Asian trading. Worries over Sino-U.S. trade disputes, a possible slowdown in the Chinese economy and higher U.S. borrowing costs tempered optimism despite a rebound in global equities late last week.
In the Greater China region, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell by around 1.4 percent in the afternoon. The Shanghai composite also slipped by 1 percent while the Shenzhen composite lost its earlier gains to decline by 0.9 percent. The moves in China came as new reserve requirements for lenders went into effect, in a move by the People's Bank of China which is expected to inject 750 billion yuan (around $108.4 billion) into the banking system.
The Japanese market is declining as investors shrugged off the positive cues from Wall Street. Investors also digested news that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to formally announce later today that the government will raise the consumption tax to 10 percent from the current 8 percent in October 2019. The Nikkei 225 shed close to 2% today – major exporters are mostly lower on a stronger safe-haven yen. SoftBank is falling more than 5 percent amid investors' worries about the company's strong ties to Saudi Arabia. In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 fell 1 percent in afternoon trade as most sectors continued to trade down. The heavily weighted financial subindex fell 1.74 percent as major banking shares saw losses.
Oil prices reversed their downtrend since early this month. With Saudi Arabia’s threatening to use its oil as a weapon in light of the mounting pressure on them – the cushion to sanctions on Iran is no longer there – and analysts expect oil to touch $100 if the situation exacerbates. Although the U.S. 10-year yield posted its first major fall in about two months last week on stock market rout, the yield rose a tad on Monday to 3.15 percent.
The British pound shed 0.3 percent to $1.3114 after negotiators from the European Union and the UK failed to clinch a Brexit deal ahead of the crucial summit. The euro traded at $1.1552 (, down slightly after Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies suffered their worst election result since 1950 on Sunday. On the other hand, the dollar is seen under pressure against the yen after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday that Washington wants to include a provision to deter currency manipulation in future trade deals, including with Japan. That raised worried among Japanese policy circles that this would give Washington the right to label as currency manipulation any future foreign exchange market interventions by Tokyo to keep sharp yen rises in check.
Monday, October 15, 2018
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Friday, October 19, 2018