Asian shares slip as U.S. sanctions on Huawei threaten fresh tensions with China

Asian shares struggled to find their footing on Thursday as confidence was shaken after the U.S. government hit Chinese telecoms giant Huawei with severe sanctions, threatening to further strain Sino-U.S. trade ties.

Asian shares

“Chinese stocks are mounting a rebound as they had been oversold in recent sessions. Sentiment is also better as President Trump seems to be desiring a compromise,” said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

  • E-mini futures for the S&P 500 were last 0.3% lower.
  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.25%.
  • Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.6%, while South Korean shares lost 1.1%.
  • the Shanghai Composite Index last trading up 0.5%.
  • Australian stocks advanced 0.5%

Currency

A slim majority of economists polled by Reuters expects the central bank to keep rates at a record low although calls for a rate cut have grown louder after disappointingly weak first-quarter inflation.

  • The euro tacked on 0.1% to $1.1209.
  • Against the yen, the dollar dipped a tenth of a percent to 109.47.

Commodities

In commodity markets, oil prices remained a relatively tight range.

  • Brent crude rose 0.5% to $72.11 a barrel.
  • U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fetched $62.34, also half a percent higher.
  • Gold edged up to $1,296.9 per ounce.

Bonds

  • The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield eased to 2.366%, near its 15-month low of 2.340% touched on March 28.
  • The two-year notes yield hit a 15-month low of 2.139% on Wednesday and last stood at 2.159%.

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