Asia Stocks Climb After Trade-Headline Whipsawing

Asian stocks climbed and the yen retreated after President Donald Trump said that the U.S.-China trade deal is intact, easing doubts sparked by reported comments from a senior adviser.

Futures on the S&P 500 had opened higher Tuesday, then tumbled over 1% for a time after Trump aide Peter Navarro was quoted saying the trade agreement signed in January was over. Crude oil slid along with the offshore yuan, before all the moves began reversing when Navarro said the remark was taken “wildly” out of context. Trump later tweeted that he hoped China would continue living up to the deal.

U.S. stocks, Treasury yields swing on Navarro's trade comments

“It does indicate that the market remains very sensitive to U.S.-China tensions,” Patrick Bennett, head of macro strategy for Asia at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Hong Kong, said of the reaction to the trade headlines.

The swings in risk assets Tuesday followed what had been a constructive session on Wall Street Monday, when equities climbed as investors continued to bet on companies with strong balance sheets and better prospects in work-from-home economy. The Nasdaq 100 jumped more than 1%, and the Nasdaq Composite capped a seventh straight advance in its longest rally of the year.

Influential investors had added to the positive sentiment. Steve Schwarzman, chief executive officer of Blackstone Group Inc., said the economy is likely to benefit from a V-type recovery in the next few months, though getting back to 2019 level will take “quite a while.” Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said he sees gradual improvement on all fronts with so many resources poured into the health-care crisis.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • MSCI Inc. on Tuesday announces its market classification review for 2020.
  • The IMF will release new 2020 growth projections on Wednesday.
  • U.S. jobless claims, durable goods and GDP data are due Thursday.
  • A rebalance of Russell indexes is due on Friday.

These are the main moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 11:27 a.m. in Tokyo, after having dropped as much as 1.6% earlier.
  • Topix index was up 0.8%.
  • Hang Seng Index rose 0.8%.
  • Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.2%.
  • Kospi Index rose 0.7%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.3%.


  • The Japanese yen fell 0.2% to 107.17 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan was down 0.2% at 7.0687 per dollar.
  • The euro was little changed at $1.1274.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was flat at 0.71% after dropping as much as three basis points earlier.
  • Australian 10-year yields rose about four basis points to 0.91%.


  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4% to $40.56 a barrel.
  • Gold slipped 0.2% to $1,752 an ounce.

Source: Bloomberg

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