China plans to restrict visas for USA visitors with 'anti-China' links

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way

US stock-index futures, however, were trading solidly higher early Wednesday, with futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 170 points at 26,308, those for the S&P 500 index rising 0.8% at 2,914.75, while the Nasdaq-100 futures were climbing 0.8% at 7,686.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move.

"Stock markets are still trying to price in the slowdown in global growth", said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co in Tokyo.

Japan's Nikkei slid 0.7 per cent, its biggest decline in a week.

Indeed, US-China relations seem to have deteriorated further, with the US now citing Chinese human rights abuses, in addition to the national security threat, as a reason to blacklist Chinese companies.

USA stock futures edged 0.06 per cent higher in Asia, but sentiment was weak after the S&P 500 ended 1.56 per cent lower on Tuesday in response to the U.S. visa restrictions. The developments would come as China and USA delegates are set to kick off high-level trade talks on Thursday to resolve longstanding trade tensions.

Several reports at the start of the week indicated that China won't even discuss some of the issues the United States is demanding like industrial subsidies and IP theft.

The United States is also moving ahead with discussions on possible restrictions on capital flows to China, with a focus on investments by US government pension funds, Bloomberg reported.

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Biden's tough talk on China differs from his past statements, in which he downplayed the threat China poses to the United States . Three polls published Tuesday showed that a majority of Americans support House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Just as China appeared not to be interested in the type of comprehensive trade deal that Trump wants, matters got worse for indices on re-emerging reports that the White House is studying proposals to limit United States govt pension investments in Chinese stocks.

Sterling traded near a one-month low of $1.2196 due to reports that Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union were close to breaking down.

The dollar index - a measure of the US currency against a basket of six rivals - edged up towards last week's 2½-year peak of 99.67 as dimming hopes of a breakthrough in this week's Sino-US trade talks as well as a host of other global uncertainties boosted demand for safe haven assets. The dollar eased slightly against the yen after Powell's remarks but remained broadly supported by weakness in other majors, which have been pummelled by weakening economic prospects.

The development sparked a fresh wave of global risk aversion trade and was seen as one of the key factors driving flows towards traditional safe-haven assets, like the United States government bonds and the Japanese Yen.

The two-year US Treasury yield fell to 1.4174%. Spot gold also rose 0.21% to $1,508.90 per ounce. The spread between two-year and 10-year Treasuries, the most common definition of the yield curve, widened to 11.3 basis points. This because: (i) the programme will be a lot smaller than QE (which at its peak was worth US$85 billion per month), (ii) involves short term securities that can roll off the Fed's balance sheet quickly and (iii) the market is witnessing very little progress in either US-China trade or Brexit negotiations.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 13.05 points or 0.4 per cent to 3,097.80 as at 9:03am. 24 to barrel while WTI fell 12 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $ 52. 63.

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