World Shares Fall on US-China Tensions 05/29 05:51
BANGKOK (AP) -- Shares fell Friday in Europe and Asia as investors awaited a
news conference about China by President Donald Trump later in the day.
Benchmarks slipped in Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo but rose in Shanghai.
U.S. and Chinese officials have been trading harsh rhetoric recently on
everything from Hong Kong to the response to the coronavirus outbreak. One fear
is that further friction could lead to another punishing round of escalating
tariffs between the two countries that would hit the global economy when it's
already in a severe recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The world awaits Trump's news conference tonight and the market is
reacting, although there is absolutely no panic at all and it's about
pre-positioning," Chris Weston of Pepperstone said in a commentary.
China's National People's Congress on Thursday approved a national security
law aimed at suppressing secessionist and subversive activity in Hong Kong,
overriding any potential opposition by local lawmakers.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the law means Washington may no
longer treat the former British colony, already reeling from anti-government
protests and the pandemic, as autonomous from Beijing. That could undermine the
city's status as a major center for trade and finance.
Germany's DAX lost 1.4% to 11,616.15 and the CAC 40 in France slipped 1.2%
to 4,712.27. Britain's FTSE 100 gave up 1.1% to 6,149.44. U.S. markets were
poised for losses, with the future contract for the S&P 500 0.6% lower and the
future for the Dow industrials down 0.7%.
Weak economic data from Japan also cast a pall, as the government reported
that industrial production fell more than 9% in April from the month before,
while retail sales dropped nearly 10%, month-on-month. That was the biggest
fall since a sales tax hike in 1997.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.7% to 22,961.47, while Japan's Nikkei
225 index fell 0.2% to 21,877.89. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 skidded 1.6% to
The Kospi in South Korea added 0.1% to 2,029.60, while the Shanghai edged
0.2% higher to 2,852.35.
Overnight, the S&P 500 ended the day 0.2% lower at 3,029.73. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average lost 0.6% to 25,400.64 and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.5%,
Even with Thursday's loss, the S&P 500 is still on pace for its third weekly
gain of at least 2.5% in the last four weeks. Following their breathtaking drop
of nearly 34% in February and much of March, stocks began recovering after the
Federal Reserve and Capitol Hill pledged unprecedented amounts of aid for the
More recently, the market has pushed higher as investors move into stocks
that would benefit most from a reopening economy. Governments around the
country and around the world are slowly lifting restrictions meant to corral
the outbreak, which has investors hoping the worst of the recession has already
passed, or will soon.
Some analysts warn the rally has been overdone could be setting investors up
for disappointment in the future if economies take much longer to recover than
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 0.66% from 0.70% late Thursday. It
tends to reflect sentiment about the economy's strength and inflation.
A barrel of U.S. crude oil for delivery in July lost $1.07 to $32.64 per
barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 90
cents to settle at $33.71 on Thursday.
Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 86 cents to $35.17 per
barrel. It rose 55 cents to $35.29 per barrel in London.
The dollar bought 107.25 Japanese yen, down from 107.64 yen late Thursday.
The euro rose to $1.1115 from $1.1073.