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Asian equities show nerves ahead of US’s Chinese tariffs list

17 June 2018

In the London session, the dollar was trading broadly weaker before the European Central Bank decision in the wake of the Fed's rate hikes, with future rate rises now priced in with a growing view that United States economic strength could be nearing its peak, analysts said.

"The dollar-yen certainly tends to be a little negatively impacted by increasing concerns about a trade war", he said.

The euro was 0.35 percent higher at $1.1608.

The European Central Bank is meeting to discuss when and how to end its bond-buying stimulus program, an exit that will have far-reaching consequences across the economy.

The move also triggered profit-taking in European stock markets, a day after they benefited handsomely from the ECB's accommodating policy stance.

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The ECB then upstaged its peer by unveiling plans to wind down its quantitative easing programme but clung on to its dovish leaning, slashing its 2018 growth forecast and warning that a rate rise is unlikely until at least September 2019.

Trump today announced tariffs of 25 percent targeting Dollars 50 billion (43 billion euros) in Chinese imports from "industrially significant" technologies, making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of American intellectual property.

"The ECB has made it clear that it does not want quick rate hikes, although it now considers progress towards the inflation target as "substantial".

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.05 percent, while Wall Street wavered, with two of the three main indexes up after better-than-expected May retail sales data.

The free trade agreement with Canada does not ensure sufficient protection for Italy's speciality foods, new Agriculture Minister Gian Marco Centinaio said in a newspaper interview.

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In the medium term; investors now hold the USA economy in very high regard, and given claims that the central bank is aiming for 2 more rate rises this year, we could see the "Greenback" climb in the coming months.

In New York, the S&P 500 added 0.3 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.1 per cent lower and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.9 per cent.

The decision represents a belief in the central bank that the eurozone economy, after years of weakness and recession, "is now sufficiently robust that it can start to withdraw monetary stimulus" says The Independent.

Just hours before the ECB's announcement, the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the second time in 2018, bringing into sharp focus the fact that the flow of easy money in Europe and America over the past decade is gradually ending.

Oil prices were down, facing pressure from evidence of rising US output and uncertainty over supply, before a meeting next week of the world's largest exporters.

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West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were up 0.1% at $66.93 a barrel, while Brent was down 0.1% at $75.87.

Asian equities show nerves ahead of US’s Chinese tariffs list