Asian equities struggle to reach their highest level in eight months due to trade turmoil By Reuters



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© Reuters. PHOTO FILE: Men look at the trading charts outside a Tokyo broker

By Swati Pandey and Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian stocks fell on Thursday after peaking at eight months as investors pulled money off the table amid renewed concerns over ongoing trade talks between the two countries. and their impact on global growth prospects.

Spreadbetters highlighted the moderate start of European equities with futures for London by 0.3%, while those of Germany and Eurostoxx fell by 0.1% each. The electronic mini for the were a little weaker.

The widest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific equities out of Japan retreated 0.4% after five consecutive days of gains that brought it to the highest level since the end of the year. month of August. Australia and New Zealand were the main causes of losses, while the markets of Hong Kong, the Philippines and India were also in red.

Chinese equities strengthened with the blue – chip index, up 0.6%, while Japan halted near the peak of a previous month.

Analysts pointed to investor fatigue and lack of news on Sino-US trade talks at Thursday's sale, as disappointing US economic statistics this week also tend to weigh heavily.

"It would take a significant step forward, such as a total elimination of tariffs implemented last year, to give new impetus to the markets," said Tai Hui, chief markets strategist for China. Asia-Pacific, JP Morgan Asset Management.

The sentiment of risk was otherwise sustained this week by signs of progress in Sino-US trade talks. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday that the two sides were aiming to overcome differences in negotiations, which could last more than three days this week.

Investors want to see whether the ongoing negotiations will result in an earlier meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the signing of an agreement.

"An important question would also be whether an agreement would be enough to revive the business climate and the global business cycle," added Mr. Tai of JPMorgan.

"We think that would help a little, but virtually every investor we have talked to in Asia over the last six months believes that friction will continue to exist from time to time between the two parties."

Bloomberg said Thursday that the United States wants China to meet its 2025 target to meet its trade commitments.

Under the plan, China would commit to buying more commodities in the United States, including soybean and energy products, and allow US companies operating in China to acquire full foreign ownership as collateral. restrictive.

The traders were also balancing their positions ahead of the US jobs data expected on Friday after earlier disappointments this week. Wednesday's figures show that activity in the services sector hit its lowest level in March for more than 19 months, while the private sector wage bill grew at a slower pace than expected, suggesting a slowing of the world's largest economy.

On the foreign exchange market, movements were modest after stronger overnight fluctuations when all major currencies gained against the yen refuge.

Thursday, the greenback fell slightly against a basket of currencies to 97.06 although it is slightly closer to the yen.

The euro was up $ 1.126, while the pound sterling rose to $ 1.3185 after British Prime Minister Theresa May had talks with the Labor opposition party in an attempt to get out Brexit stalemate, likely to result in a softer start agreement with the EU.

The lower house of the British parliament also adopted a restrictive bill on Wednesday, forcing May to demand a postponement of Brexit in order to avoid the risk of a departure without an agreement on 12 April.

In commodity markets, sales reached $ 1,292.96 an ounce.

declined 9 cents to $ 62.37 and increased 4 cents to $ 69.27.[O/R]

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