Asian Stocks Set to Slip on US-China Tension: Markets Wrap

Stocks edge lower as U.S.-China relations sour

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), is off by 0.1%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) is 0.4% lower, while the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ), is slightly higher, gaining 0.18%.

The S&P 500 closed lower on Thursday, with signs mounting that President Donald Trump will make his tough stance on China a key element of his re-election bid.

President Donald Trump's warning on Thursday that the US would react strongly to China's plan for a national security law in Hong Kong has raised concerns over Washington and Beijing's possibly reneging on their Phase 1 trade deal.

The rebuke of Beijing's plans for Hong Kong added to ongoing fears that U.S. -Sino relations are likely to weaken further as Trump has continued to criticize China of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nasdaq is about 5% below its February record high, fueled in recent weeks by gains in Microsoft, Amazon.com and other technology heavyweights that many investors expect to emerge from the crisis stronger than smaller rivals.

The tech sector has been a big victor from the coronavirus lockdowns even as some industries have struggled.

Health care was up 1.5 per cent as shares of Hexo Corp. surged 20.5 per cent and Cronos Inc. was up 8.5 per cent.


Of major asset classes, crude oil has rebounded the most off the year's lows on hopes world economies will soon recover from coronavirus-induced business shutdowns, he said, adding that he believed oil's rally was overdone.

The July crude contract was down US$1.26 at US$32.66 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was up a little over a penny at almost US$1.87 per mmBTU.

Gold prices picked up $12.70 to $1,734.60 U.S.an ounce.

For the week, crude has increased almost 13 per cent, helping to push up equity markets, as demand has grown and production has been cut. The price has risen this month as oil producing nations cut back on output and the gradual reopening of economies around the globe have driven up demand. The S&P 500 index was down 8.63 points at 2,939.88, while the Nasdaq composite was down 15.65 points at 9,269.23. All 50 states have eased at least some coronavirus-lockdown restrictions ahead of a long weekend. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for interest rates on many consumer loans, fell to 0.66% from 0.67% late Thursday. Alberta's Western Canadian Select fell about two-and-a-half per cent to US$24.02 per barrel. While the action to cap off the week was modest, the four main North American indices were on track for gains of almost three per cent across the board for the week.

WTI crude oil -3.4% to $32.76/bbl. "But at the same time, demand is ticking up and supply is ticking down", as Asian countries reopen, he said.

The Canadian dollar was under pressure against its American counterpart, down almost half a cent to 71.22 cents U.S.

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