In Asian Equity Markets indices fell on Tuesday morning as tensions between the United States and China intensified after Beijing decided to raise tariffs on some American goods. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell nearly 2% as shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent fell more than 2.5%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 1.19%, with shares of index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group falling more than 4%. The Topix index also fell 1.22%. In South Korea, the Kospi declined about 0.1% as index heavyweight Samsung Electronics and chipmaker SK Hynix saw their shares slip.
In Currency Markets China’s offshore yuan hit a fresh 2019 low early in Asia on Tuesday and the safe-haven yen remained supported as a fresh escalation in Sino-U.S. trade tensions hit sentiment, with each country raising tariffs on the other’s goods. On Tuesday, the offshore yuan weakened to 6.9200 per dollar, its lowest against the greenback since late December. It booked its steepest single-session decline in nine months overnight, giving up nearly 1%. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar edged up to 109.42 yen, recovering slightly after falling as low as 109.15 yen in early trade.
In Commodities Markets oil prices inched higher on Tuesday, though gains were checked amid an escalation in the trade war between the United States and China. Brent crude futures were at $70.27 a barrel, up 6 cents, or 0.1%, from their last close. Brent ended the previous session little changed. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.17 per barrel, up 12 cents, or 0.2%, from their previous settlement. WTI closed the last session steady on the day. The U.S. Energy Department said on Monday that it was confident global oil markets are well supplied.
In US Equity Markets indices fell on Monday after China defied Washington by announcing retaliatory tariffs, the latest salvo in the two countries’ increasingly belligerent trade war, sending investors fleeing equities for less risky assets. The S&P 500 fell 2.41%, to 2,811.87 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 3.41%, to 7,647.02. Shares of Apple Inc fell 5.8% on the double whammy of heightened trade tensions and a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow an antitrust lawsuit accusing the company of monopolizing the iPhone app market.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell to six-week lows on Monday as investors piled into low-risk assets after China announced plans to impose additional tariffs on U.S.-made goods in retaliation for a U.S. increase in duties on Chinese imports on Friday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury was 5.2 basis points lower at 2.4033% after touching 2.389%, the lowest since March 28. Ten-year yields fell below those on three-month Treasury bills. A sustained inversion of this part of the yield curve has preceded every U.S. recession in the past 50 years.