NEW YORK,. European and US stocks pulled back yesterday on continued worries about trade conflicts even as Amazon briefly topped US$1 trillion (RM4.14 trillion) in market value in the latest demonstration of US tech industry dominance.
Investors were eyeing the latest in the ongoing trade fight between the US and Canada after President Donald Trump again threatened to leave Canada out of a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement.
Talks with Ottawa are set to resume in Washington today to try to salvage the three-nation Nafta, although Trump has said he could proceed with Mexico alone.
A tweet from Trump dismissing the need for Canada to be included in the deal “helped give the bears an advantage on Tuesday,” according to Briefing.com.
Analysts also are monitoring the state of trade relations between Washington and Beijing, with the possibility of a new wave of punitive tariffs hitting as soon as this week.
Bourses in Paris and Frankfurt lost more than one percent, while London dropped 0.6 per cent.
The losses in the US were milder, with sentiment lifted by Amazon’s brief surge above US$1 trillion in market capitalisation before pulling back somewhat.
Trouble in Argentina
The troubles in Argentina, which has seen its peso collapse in recent weeks, and Turkey are further rattling foreign exchange markets owing to fears their crises could spread.
Argentine Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne was in Washington for talks yesterday with International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who has signalled a willingness to accelerate disbursement of a US$50 billion loan agreed to in June.
“For now, most of emerging market woes can be attributed to country-specific issues,” Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a note to clients.
“But … as the Fed is expected to continue with its gradual (rate) tightening strategy and with President Trump seemingly keen on pursuing its hard line on trade policy, EM contagion risk is still alive and kicking.”
On the corporate front, shares in advertising giant WPP slumped on mixed earnings news one day after the company appointed a new chief executive.
Dow member Nike fell 3.2 per cent amid worries the new advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick will backfire on the sports giant.
Kaepernick has been sidelined from playing American football after kneeling during the US national anthem in 2016, launching a movement to protest racial injustice. He appears as the new face of Nike’s “Just do it” campaign.
Key figures around 2100 GMT
New York — Dow: DOWN 0.1 per cent at 25,952.48 (close)
New York — S&P 500: DOWN 0.2 per cent at 2,896.72 (close)
New York — Nasdaq: DOWN 0.2 per cent at 8,091.25 (close)
London — FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 per cent at 7,457.86 (close)
Frankfurt — DAX 30: DOWN 1.1 per cent at 12,210.21 (close)
Paris — CAC 40: DOWN 1.3 per cent at 5,342.70 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.1 per cent at 3,359.36 (close)
Tokyo — Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 per cent at 22,696.90 (close)
Hong Kong — Hang Seng: UP 0.9 per cent at 27,973.34 (close)
Shanghai — Composite: UP 1.1 per cent at 2,750.58 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at US$1.1600 from US$1.1619 late Monday
Pound/dollar: UP at US$1.2900 from US$1.2870
Dollar/yen: UP at ¥111.45 from ¥111.07
Oil — Brent Crude: UP 2 cents at US$78.17 per barrel
Oil — West Texas Intermediate: UP 7 cents at US$69.87 per barrel — AFP