Asian stocks were under renewed selling pressure this morning as global trade concerns and chaos across emerging markets weighed on risk appetite. Global trade developments have certainly placed investors on an emotional roller-coaster ride this week with the initial optimism over NAFTA talks outweighed by U.S.-China concerns. Market sentiment is likely to remain cautious, especially after President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organisation.
A sense of relief was felt across financial markets following the news that Beijing will resume trade talks with Washington next week. Although the chances of a breakthrough deal from lower-level talks are seen as unlikely, the meeting could be a positive step towards easing trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
Fears of a full-blown trade war between the world’s two biggest economies are set to intensify after the Trump Administration announced another round of tariffs on Chinese products on Tuesday. In a move that is likely to cause the further deterioration of US-China trade relations, the United States will begin imposing 25% tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese imports starting from Aug. 23. With Beijing expected to fight back by targeting $16 billion worth of U.S. goods with equal tariffs, the US-China trade saga could get even messier.
Global equity bulls were lingering in the vicinity during Tuesday’s trading session as investors diverted some attention from trade war concerns to focus on strong U.S corporate earnings. Asian stock markets have ventured higher following the robust earnings-led gains on Wall Street overnight.
Contradicting reports surrounding the state of the U.S.-China trade relations are likely to create a sense of confusion across all markets, while also possibly desensitizing investors towards global trade developments.
Dollar bulls were absent during Tuesday’s trading session as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting. Markets could offer a muted response to the meeting, especially when considering how there will be no updated economic projections or post-announcement press conference by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Market sentiment received a solid boost after US President Donald Trump obtained concessions from the European Union to avert a transatlantic trade war. The United States and Europe have reached a deal to work towards “zero tariffs, barriers and subsidies on non-auto industrial goods” in a bid to defuse escalating trade tensions.
The euro/U.S. dollar (EUR/USD) currency pair was on standby on Wednesday morning, as investors positioned ahead of the anticipated meeting between US President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.