Asian stocks reach six-month lows as tariffs charge an economic toll

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares fell to their lowest level in six months on Friday, as signs that US trade battles with China and many other countries are beginning to reduce corporate profits, while prices are falling. of oil were unstable before an OPEC meeting to discuss the increase in production.

PHOTO OF THE ARCHIVE: A man looks at an electronic whiteboard showing Japan's Nikkei average outside of a brokerage in a commercial district in Tokyo, Japan, August 9, 2017. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

more MSCI's broad stock of Asia and the Pacific out of Japan. MIAPJ0000PUS fell to 0.35 percent at one point to touch its lowest level since early December.

Hang Seng. Hong Kong Hong Kong reached minimum six months, having lost 3.9 percent so far this week. KOSPI .KS11 from South Korea touched nine-month lows and in mainland China, the CSI300 index. The CSI300 lost almost 5 percent this week to reach minimums in a year.

Nikkei .N225 of Japan lost 0.85 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell for the eighth consecutive session on Thursday and the S & P 500 .SPX lost 0.63 percent, with industrial shares .SPLRCI and materials .SPLRCM hit with force.

Even the high-flying Nasdaq Composite .IXIC, which this year has surpbaded the perception that high-tech stocks were less vulnerable to commercial wars, lost 0.88 percent.

In a sign that increasing tensions between the United States and its trading partners were affecting the economy, the indicator of US Mid-Atlantic trade activity published by the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia fell to a low on Thursday. a year and a half .

"The Philadelphia Fed survey showed a drop in new orders, investors are worried that trade frictions are starting to affect corporate sentiment and its activities," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, chief strategist at Mizuho Securities.

The impact on corporate profits has become tangible, with German automaker Daimler ( DAIGn.DE ) cutting its earnings forecast on Wednesday, saying that tariffs on cars exported from United States to China would hurt Mercedes-Benz sales.

Despite the incipient signs of economic damage, trade frictions have not shown signs of decline.

FILE PHOTO: Containers are unloaded from Maersk's giant Triple-E container carrier, Maersk Majestic, at the Yangshan Deepwater Port in Shanghai, China, on September 24, 2016. REUTERS / Aly Song / File Photo

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that the United States needs to make it difficult for its trading partners to have high trade barriers to achieve President Donald Trump's ultimate goal of lower tariffs and a level playing field.

India joined the European Union and China to retaliate against Trump tariffs for steel and aluminum, raising import tariffs on US almonds by 20 percent and taking advantage of its position as the world's largest buyer of the product.

While some investors still hope that Washington and Beijing can reach an agreement before July 6, when the first round of US tariffs on Chinese products and retaliatory tariffs by China come into effect, others see diminish the hopes of a commitment.

The worsening of the confidence pushed the yields of the bonds of the EE. UU Lower and triggered profit taking on the dollar.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell to 2,910 percent US10YT = RR from Thursday's high of 2,950 percent and its three-week high of 3,010 percent reached on Wednesday of last week.

As the dollar lost momentum, the euro rebounded to $ 1.1611 = after touching an 11-month low of $ 1.1508 on Thursday.

The single currency had fallen into bets for a prolonged period of monetary policy divergence between the US Federal Reserve. UU And the European Central Bank.

In addition, the appointment of the Italian government on Thursday by two eurosceptics to head the key finance committees rekindled concerns about anti-European voices in the third largest economy in the euro zone.

The British pound jumped from a seven-month period after Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane unexpectedly joined the minority of lawmakers who called for rates to rise to 0.75 percent, citing worries about the rising wage pressure.

GBP = D3 last reached $ 1.3262, compared to Thursday's low of $ 1.3102.

The dollar changed hands to 109.95 yen JPY =, having fallen 0.65 percent so far this week.

The Chinese yuan weakened around 0.15 percent in both CNY = CFXS on land and offshore CNH = D4, staying close to its lowest levels since mid-January.

"If the US exerts more pressure on China with tariffs, I suspect the Chinese authorities want to reduce the yuan to mitigate the impact," said Daisuke Uno, chief strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index .MSCIEF fell to its lowest level in almost nine months this week as it was also affected by the increase in US interest rates, which could cause outflows of funds and increase the costs of financing for many borrowers in those countries.

Some emerging market countries have recently raised interest rates to curb declines in their currencies.

Oil prices rose due to uncertainty before a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers, including Russia. on Friday.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have said that an increase in production of around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) or about 1 percent of the world's supply had become an almost consensus proposal for the group and its allies, but Iran resisted a deal amid the prospect of lower exports due to US sanctions against Tehran.

Brent's LCCc1 crude traded at $ 74.00 a barrel, 95 cents more, or 1.3 percent, a day after falling $ 1.69.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate CLv1 crude rose 89 cents, or 1.35 percent to $ 66.42 per barrel.

Edition of Eric Meijer and Jacqueline Wong


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