Asian shares fall on weak earnings, trade tensions
Asian shares edged lower on Thursday as Wall Street stocks dropped on early signs that the U.S.-China trade war could hurt corporate earnings, which helped underpin solid demand for safe-haven U.S. Treasuries.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2%, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei shed 1.7% and Australian shares fell 0.3%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 0.5%.
- Shanghai Composite and the blue-chip CSI 300 down 0.7% and 0.6%.
- South Korea’s market was off 0.4%.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%, the S&P 500 lost 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.5%.
Treasury yields slid as concerns about the U.S.-China trade war boosted demand for safe haven debt and after data showed weakness in the U.S. housing market.
- Yields on benchmark 10-year and 30-year bonds climbed more than seven basis points each, to 2.06% and 2.57%, respectively.
- The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was not much changed at 97.099 after shedding 0.2% the previous day.
- The euro also was nearly flat at $1.1238 after crawling up marginally 0.1% on Wednesday. The greenback fell 0.2% to 107.72 yen, extending an overnight loss of 0.3%.
- Sterling was steady at $1.2437. It had stumbled to $1.2382 overnight, its lowest level since April 2017 on concerns of a no-deal Brexit.
- Spot gold gained as much as 0.2% to hit $1,429.10 per ounce, its highest level since July 3. Silver climbed as much as 1.0% to 16.12, its highest level since February, extending gains for a fourth straight session.
- Oil prices steadied on Thursday after falling in the previous session when official data showed U.S. stockpiles of products like gasoline rose sharply last week, suggesting weak demand during the peak driving season.
Brent crude futures were up 0.3% to $63.86 a barrel, while U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged up 0.1% to $56.84 a barrel.