SYDNEY (Reuters) – Most Asian stock markets slipped on Monday as investors waited for more clarity in China's trade talks following recent negotiations, while oil gained more than 1% as tensions in the Middle East remained high.
File Photo: Pedestrians with masks are reflected in an electronic board showing different stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, February 26, 2016. REUTERS / Yuya Shino
Analysts said investor sentiment was fragile with civil unrest in Hong Kong , tensions in the Middle East and concerns about whether the US and China would soon sign a trade agreement. Movements were further exaggerated by low volumes as Japanese markets closed on a holiday.
Chinese stocks opened in the negative territory, with the blue-chip index. CSI300 down 1.5%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index .HSI was 0.8% weaker after a weekend of at times violent protests that prompted pro-democracy activists to raid a railway station and shopping mall.
South Korea's Kospi .KS11 was a weaker touch after disappointing trading data while Australian and New Zealand stocks beat the trend and both were about 0.3% higher.
It lowered MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS down 0.3% at 509.94 points. It is still more than 3% so far in September.
"There are real concerns about the impact on the economies of the trade conflict," said Michael McCarthy, Sydney-based strategist at CMC Markets. – People probably get an idea that this will be a long negotiation. And the longer it lasts, the more impact it will have financially. ”
U.S. Mini Futures However, the S&P 500 ESc1 and Dow 1YMc1, climbed almost 0.4% each.
Over the weekend, the US Trade Representative's office issued a brief statement that characterized the two days of talks with China as "productive." It added that a major Washington-level trade meeting would take place in October, as previously planned.
In a brief statement, the Ministry of Commerce of China described the talks as "constructive", saying that they had also had a good discussion on "detailed arrangements" for the high-level talks in October.
In addition, the United States removed customs duties from more than 400 Chinese products in response to requests from US companies.
Despite the improved tone, the markets still remain convinced of the possibility of agreement soon.
Investors were rattled by news on Friday that Chinese authorities unexpectedly canceled a visit to US farms this week after their two days of negotiations in Washington.
A Shanghai-based analyst at Tebon Securities said the cancellation had hit investor sentiment and could be a big drag for Chinese A-shares in the near term.
News that five Yemeni civilians were killed in air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition put further emphasis on investor desire.
Mid-tensions and oil supply concerns helped Brent crude oil LCOc1 futures jump 1%, or 64 cents, to $ 64.92 a barrel, while US crude CLc1 futures rose 0.98% , or 57 cents, for $ 58.66 a barrel. . [O/R]
The Pentagon has ordered additional troops to be deployed in the Gulf region to strengthen Saudi Arabia's air and missile defense following an attack on Saudi oil facilities.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the extra troops are for "deterrence and defense," and Washington's goal was to avoid war with Iran.
The markets will closely monitor the September surveys on manufacturing activities due to the US and the European Union later in the day for signs of a rebound.
The action in the foreign exchange markets was dampened.
The dollar gained 0.14% against the safe haven Japanese yen to JPY 107.69 = after easing 0.5% last week. The risk-sensitive Australian dollar AUD = D3 was up 0.24% at $ 0.6780.
The euro EUR = D3 was a shade higher than the British pound GBP =. It left the dollar index. DXY slightly weaker at 98.449.
With risk appetite waning, gold gold XAU = pared early loss to be flat at $ 1,516.39 per gram.