Asian shares fell on Wednesday; eyes on Fed minutes

Asian shares slipped on Wednesday as fresh worries about a global recession led investors to dump risky assets, with US President Donald Trump showing no signs of backing down in his trade war with China.

Trump said on Tuesday he had to confront China over trade even if it caused short-term harm to the US economy because Beijing had been cheating Washington for decades.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) economist Ellen Zentner advised clients to watch for the use of the word “somewhat” when Fed Chair Powell describes further policy adjustments.

“Acknowledgment that downside risks have increased with no characterization of ‘somewhat’ could be taken as confirmation that it is likely the Fed makes a larger cut in September,” Zentner wrote in a note.

Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.4%, while Shanghai blue chips lost -0.1%. Faring a bit better were E-Mini futures for the S&P 500, which added 0.25%, while EUROSTOXX 50 futures edged up 0.1%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2 percent, 3 three straight days of gains.

In currency markets, the dollar was a shade firmer on the yen at 106.48 after losing 0.4% on Tuesday, while sterling was last trading at $1.2170.

The euro trod water near Tuesday’s high of $1.1101.

The dollar index was on the defensive at 98.178 as it drifted away from a three-week top touched on Monday.

In commodities markets, U.S. crude firmed 17 cents to $56.26 per barrel while Brent added 23 cents to $60.26.

Spot gold was a shade weaker at $1,503.88 an ounce.

 

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