Stocks, yuan tumble as U.S.-China trade dispute escalates

15 May, 2019, 10:56 | Author: Regina Silva
  • China Market Watchers Wait for Beijing's Move in Trade DisputeMore

For starters, if you look at the $16.2 trillion public treasuries market (excluding the $5.8 trillion the US government holds), China has about $1.13 trillion of that, or about 7 percent of the total.

The heightened tensions over the weekend unwound gains in risk assets from late Friday as optimism over progress between the two sides faded.

If China decides to dump their US treasuries, it will result in upward pressure on American interest rates. Hong Kong is closed Monday for a holiday.

"At the moment the market is being relatively sanguine on this breakdown in negotiations", Eleanor Creagh, Sydney-based Australia market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets, said on Bloomberg TV.

In addition, one must also factor in potential actions by central banks to perhaps purchase any bonds that were being dumped even if treasuries markets could not fully absorb the temporary glut. That's allowed the market to continue higher whatever the weather.

"As the secretary has indicated, the negotiations will continue".

Traders are on tenterhooks, digesting a slew of details from the weekend that are seeing investors favor safer-haven assets and could mean more volatility as the week progresses.

On 10 May US President Donald Trump increased tariffs on around $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. Most analysts downplayed such a move, which would send USA borrowing costs soaring, strengthen the yuan and hurt Chinese exporters.

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"Whenever tensions emerge between the US and China, questions arise as to whether China would sell off its Treasuries in retaliation", said Mark Sobel, a former Treasury official and now USA chairman for the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum. That comes as he prepares to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at next month's G-20 summit, an encounter that could prove pivotal in a deepening clash over trade. On Monday, all three major USA benchmarks dropped more than two per cent - only the second time this year that's happened - after China targeted some of the biggest US exporters in response to American tariffs.

Japan's Topix index dropped 0.7 per cent as of 9.05am in Tokyo. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.1%.The euro bought $1.1203, little changed.

The S&P 500 dropped the most in four months, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped more than 600 points and the Nasdaq Composite saw the biggest decline of the year after China targeted some of the nation's biggest exporters. The underlying gauge rose 0.4 per cent Friday. Currencies The yen was at 109.63 per dollar after falling 0.3%.

The offshore yuan slid 0.4 per cent to 6.8744 per U.S. dollar.

The British pound dipped 0.2 per cent to US$1.2927. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yields 2.41%, compared with 2.68% at the end of December.

USA crude fell 0.05% to $61.63 per barrel and Brent was last at $70.81, up 0.27% on the day.

At 10:05 GMT, June Comex gold is trading $1298.70, down $3.10 or -0.24%.

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