Trump Comments Shake Global Markets – 23 May 2018

Asian shares were broadly lower on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he was “not satisfied” with the most recent trade talks between the U.S. and China. Trump’s comments came after Beijing announced that it would reduce tariffs on vehicles to 15 percent from prior tariff rates as high as 25 percent. On Monday, global stock indexes had headed higher, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the U.S.-Sino trade war was “on hold.” Investor optimism was tempered after Trump’s comments on Tuesday, and markets reacted swiftly.

All major Wall Street indexes were lower on Tuesday, and Asian markets followed suit on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 was down 1.08 percent as of 1:09 p.m. HK/SIN after falling as much as 1.16 percent earlier in the session. The Hang Seng Index was 1.04 percent lower. Australia’s ASX 200 and the Shanghai Composite were down slightly as well. The only index to buck the trend was South Korea’s Kospi which managed to eke out gains of 0.31 percent in the early afternoon.

Currency Movements

The yen firmed to 110.43, remaining firmly under the 111-level hit earlier this week. The stronger yen hurt Japanese exporters, prompting losses in the Japanese stock markets. The dollar was trading at $1.1764 against the euro.

The Turkish lira saw the biggest swings on Wednesday, plummeting more than two percent early in the session to a record low of 4.8450 despite gaining 0.8 percent on Tuesday. The fall came after ratings agencies expressed concern about Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to exert tighter control on the country’s monetary policy. The lira is down nearly 15 percent this month.

This article provided by NewsEdge.