Singapore market trends Friday: US to impose China tariffs, US oil inventories rise

An aerial view of Singapore’s portAn aerial view of Singapore’s port

Singapore’s shares may get an end-of-week fillip as markets globally rally despite the Trump administration being on the cusp of escalating its trade war by officially imposing tariffs on Chinese imports.

That’s likely as traders have been selling the rumor and are set to buy the fact; additionally, traders may not want to hold their bearish bets over the weekend as U.S. President Trump’s behavior may be too erratic for predictions.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.81 percent in early trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.75 percent on Thursday, the S&P 500 added 0.86 percent and the Nasdaq tacked on 1.12 percent. Futures for the three indexes had turned nose down early on Friday.

The Straits Times Index ended Thursday up 0.364 percent at 3256.71; July futures for the index were at 3247 at the close on Thursday, while August futures were at 3215, according to SGX data.

The Shanghai Composite ended Thursday down 0.91 percent at 2733.88, extending sharp recent declines, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was off 0.21 percent at 28,182.09.

Trade war

The U.S. has officially moved the world into trade war territory, at least according to the New York Times, with the Trump administration set to impose tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese products at 12:01 A.M. Friday ET, which will in turn launch China’s retaliatory tariffs.

The Investor’s Business Daily said, however, that China is already winning, as it is stepping into the hole the U.S. left when it exited the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

Bloomberg also highlighted just how badly China’s retaliatory tariffs, if they take effect, will hurt U.S. farmers. while Slate noted that U.S. President Trump’s bluster over protecting the U.S. dairy industry from Canada’s tariffs appears to be missing how badly retaliatory tariffs from Mexico and China are hurting the industry.

Separately, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt, who had been the target of numerous ethics complaints related to his lavish spending of taxpayer dollars, ordering government employees to handle personal chores and other ethical lapses — all unchecked by the executive branch — has resigned.

In one bizarre incident, Pruitt reportedly used his security detail to shop for a particular moisturizer which is only available at some Ritz-Carlton hotels.

Currencies

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 94.37 at 7:51 A.M. SGT, after trading as high as 94.50 overnight.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was at 2.834 percent at 7:59 A.M. SGT, after trading as low as 2.820 percent and as high as 2.867 percent on Thursday; bond prices move inversely to yields.

The dollar/yen was at 110.568 at 8:04 A.M. SGT after trading in a 110.27 to 110.732 range on Thursday, according to DZHI data.

The euro/dollar was at 1.1695 at 8:05 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.1648 to 1.1720 range on Thursday.

The dollar/Singapore dollar was at 1.3649 at 8:07 A.M. SGT, after trading in a 1.3624 to 1.3675 range on Thursday.

The dollar/yuan was at 6.6340 on Thursday, remaining fairly steady.

Oil

Nymex WTI crude oil futures for August were up 0.29 percent at US$73.15 a barrel at 7:35 A.M. SGT, while ICE Brent crude futures for September were down 1.09 percent at US$77.39 at 5:59 A.M. SGT, according to Bloomberg data.

The plan to list Saudi Arabia’s state oil company, Aramco, has “stalled,” with government officials and people close to the process doubting it will happen at all, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose by 1.2 million barrels on-week in the week ending June 29.

 

 

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