Asia Stocks Signal Decline on Trade; Kiwi Slips: Markets Wrap

Asia stocks looked set to drop as China hit back against the Trump administration’s latest tariffs and tensions ratcheted up between the U.S. and Russia. Oil tumbled.

Futures pointed to a lower open for stocks in Hong Kong, Japan and China. The S&P 500 Index was little changed, remaining about half a percentage point shy of its all-time record. Treasuries edged up as investors scooped up a record $26 billion 10-year auction. The ruble slumped as the U.S. announced new sanctions on Russia. The kiwi declined after the New Zealand central bank pushed out its forecast for a rate increase by a year as the outlook for economic growth weakens.

China said it will impose 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of imports from the U.S. from Aug. 23, matching Washington’s latest move in the trade war. The U.S. announced new sanctions on Russia, saying it’s made a final determination that Moscow was responsible for the March 4 nerve-agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal in the U.K.

Elsewhere, Turkey’s lira nudged higher as a Turkish delegation met with U.S. State Department and Treasury officials in Washington Wednesday, as both sides sought a way out of an escalating feud. Crude tumbled to a nearly seven-week low as the escalating trade dispute between the world’s biggest economies overshadowed a decline in U.S. crude stockpiles. Bitcoin dropped, leading a sell-off in digital coins of all sizes.

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Here are some key events coming up this week:

  • Samsung Electronics is set to unveil its next Galaxy Note smartphone on Thursday.
  • U.S. consumer prices probably rose in July from June, consistent with a pickup in inflation that’s projected to keep the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest-rate increases, economists forecast before Friday’s release.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.4 percent in Singapore.
  • Futures on the FTSE China A50 Index lost 0.1 percent.
  • Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 0.2 percent.
  • The S&P 500 slipped less than one point to 2,857.70.

Currencies

  • The yen held at 110.92 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan traded flat at 6.8254 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.1612.
  • The kiwi fell 0.6 percent to 67.06 U.S. cents.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 2.96 percent.

Commodities

  • The Bloomberg Commodity Index retreated 0.4 percent.
  • Gold futures were little changed at $1,213.97 an ounce.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 3.2 percent to $66.94 a barrel.

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