Stocks struggled and the yen gained on Wednesday, with markets in China faltering on their return from a long holiday as investors fretted over Sino-U.S. tensions, while oil ended an extended winning streak on oversupply risks amid weak demand.
- Wall Street futures turned negative after starting higher, with E-minis for the S&P500 ESc1 off 0.3%.
- China, opening for the first time since Thursday, started on the backfoot with the blue-chip index .CSI300 down 0.6%.
- Australian shares skidded 0.8%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index .HSI added 0.7%.
- South Korea’s KOSPI was also upbeat, rising 1%.
- Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.
- That left MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS up 0.3% in relatively light volumes.
- The euro EUR= hit a one-week low of $1.0826 overnight and slumped to a three-year trough of 115.09 yen EURJPY= in Asia, as traders fretted about both the scheme and the euro’s future.
- The safe-haven yen JPY= cracked through resistance against the dollar to hit a seven-week high of 106.20.
- The Aussie AUD=D3 and kiwi NZD=D3 slipped slightly on the greenback, though held above 64 cents and 60 cents respectively.
- The pound GBP= was steady at $1.2431.
- The dollar index =USD was flat at 99.810.
Oil prices had gained recently as European and Asian countries had ended their lockdowns to halt the coronavirus spread and as producers had axed supply after the demand crunch.
But analysts cautioned the rebalancing of the market would be choppy.
- In commodities, U.S. crude futures CLc1 slipped 6 cents to $24.5 a barrel after five straight sessions of gains while Brent crude LCOc1 was flat at $30.97.
- Spot gold XAU= eased 0.2% to $1,702 an ounce.