Asian stocks: Political pessimism weighs over US-China trade progress

  • Asian stocks remain broadly unchanged as traders turn cautious around the multi-month top.
  • US-China near to signing a phase-one deal but China’s Xi warns the US to stay out of internal issues.
  • Year-end holiday mood, lack of data add to the market’s inactive performance.

With the political tension between the US and Beijing likely to stop the economies from any longer future trade relations, the latest news of nearness to signing phase-one seems to have largely been ignored by the Asian traders. The lack of response could also be attributed to the proximity of holiday season and multi-month high posted by the key indices recently.

MSCI’s index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan takes rounds to 685.00 with no change from Friday’s closing. However, the gauge is up nearly 10% on a quarterly basis. Further, Japan’s NIKKIE also seesaws around 23,820 with no gain/losses after rising to 14-month high during the previous month. The equities fail to follow Friday’s gains of Wall Street after the US data turned down speculations of recession in the world’s largest economy.

Australia’s ASX 200 register losses close to 0.5% while New Zealand NZX 50 benefits from last week’s upbeat data while rising 0.60% by the press time of the pre-European session on Monday.

The US 10-year treasury yields fail to hold onto Friday’s recovery while declining back to 1.91% whereas stocks in India and China also stay mostly in losses amid increased odds of weak growth performance. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently said that industrial output from the nation is expected to grow by 5.6% in 2019 after registering 6.2% YoY growth in November.

Leaders of Japan and South Korea are in China to discuss trade and political issues. The diplomats will also shed light on risks from North Korea. Beijing has been playing the role to calm global ire against the hermit kingdom off-late.

Other than trade/political headlines, the market’s witness a lack of catalyst amid a year-end data lull and the same could limit equity’s performance.

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