Asian Stocks Fall, Focus on U.S. China Trade Talks

Asian stocks fell on Friday, as focus by investors looked to the highly anticipated trade talks between the two super powers, the U.S. and China.

Asian Pacific shares on the MSCI which looked set to end the weeks trading lower, fell 0.2 percent. Against the yen the dollar fell 0.16 percent to 109.01.

Indonesian stocks on the JKSE fell 1.5 percent, leading the declines in early morning trading, after recouping some of the losses.

Shanghai’s SSE Composite fell 0.1 percent.

Trading overall for the region was quiet due to Japan’s holiday.

Investors Look to the U.S. And China Trade Talks

The U.S. trade delegation, led by Steven Mnuchin Treasury secretary are to hold talks in Beijing. Analysts are of the opinion that they will not achieve any headway on the tariff standoff.

China who is pushing into the artificial intelligence market has said that they will not discuss this issue and the other demand from the U.S. on trade deficit. These are the two biggest demands from the U.S.

U.S. Dollar

According to strategist at Westpac, Sean Callow dollar bulls have found the recovery in the U.S. dollar encouraging. But the dollar has yet to breach key levels of 110 versus the yen, and against the euro $0.75 versus the Australian dollar.

He went on to say that there is a real division in the markets over the U.S. dollar outlook. With the euro zone inflation at a 13 month low, it should have been a big boost for the dollar index.

The dollar index gained around 1 percent this week, on track for its third weekly straight gain. The euro which has lost 0.74 percent so far this month was little changed on the day at $1.1991.

April U.S. Jobs Data

The April U.S. jobs data report is expected later in the day, which will give investors an inkling as to the strength of the labour market. Analysts are looking to an increase of 192,000 jobs for last month for the non-farm payrolls.

Analysts Believe That the Wage Figure Will Determine Any Shift on Fed Hikes.

Any future Fed hikes could come from data of wage figures if there is a pick-up in pace of gains. Analyst at Mizuho, Vishnu Varathan said that the Fed could see it as a smoking gun with risks to inflation. He said the evidence for now remains short and expects the market reaction to be subdued.
Spot gold was higher at $1313.4 per ounce.

Brent crude fell to $73.59.

U.S. crude slipped 7 cents to $68.36 a barrel.

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