Singapore market trends Friday: US-China trade talks stall, Jackson Hole eyed

Singapore 50 dollar bill

Singapore shares may face some headwinds on Friday amid concerns about U.S.-China trade talks and ahead of the closely watched Jackson Hole economic conclave, while strong gains on Thursday may keep traders chary of holding firm positions over the weekend.

“So far nothing has come out of trade talks between the U.S. and China – both parties moved ahead with tariffs on $16 billion worth of goods so the focus shifts to the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium at Jackson Hole,” Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign-exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, said in a note on Thursday, U.S. time.

“[Fed chief Jerome] Powell could have a lot to say about trade and the global economic outlook which is slowing,” she noted. “There’s no question that the Fed will raise interest rates in September, but if Powell uses Jackson Hole as the venue to start talking about a change to guidance, the impact on the markets and the dollar could be significant.”

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.30 percent at 25,656.98, the Nasdaq was off 0.14 percent at 7878.458 and the S&P 500 shed 0.17 percent at 2856.98. Futures for the three indexes were nearly flat early Thursday.

The Straits Times Index ended Thursday up 1.56 percent at 3249.89; August futures for the index were at 3250 on Thursday, while September futures were at 3252.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.49 percent at 27,790.461 on Thursday, while the CSI 300 was up 0.37 percent at 3320.026.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.28 percent in early trade.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 95.67 at 7:57 A.M. SGT after rising as high as 95.70 and as low as 95.20 overnight, according to ICE futures data.

“Pessimistic remarks from President Trump earlier this week downplaying the likelihood of success in the latest trade talks, as well as the increased probability that the Federal Reserve will still attempt to raise interest rates next month in spite of external headwinds could be driving the rally in the greenback,” Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy and market research at FXTM, said in a note on Thursday.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield was at 2.825 percent at 8:08 A.M. SGT after trading as low as 2.813 percent overnight.

The euro/dollar was at 1.1541 at 8:07 A.M. SGT, after trading in a 1.1552 to 1.1623 range overnight, but still well above last week’s low of 1.13, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/yen was at 111.416 at 8:12 A.M. SGT, after trading in a 110.48 to 111.317 range overnight, and well off the low earlier this week of 109.74, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/yuan ended Thursday at 6.8747, in line with Thursday’s level, according to DZHI data.

The Singapore dollar extended Thursday’s weakness; the dollar/Sing was at 1.3741 at 8:14 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.3656 to 1.3745 range on Thursday after falling as low as 1.3640 earlier in the week, according to DZHI data.

Oil

Nymex WTI crude oil futures for October were up 0.10 percent at US$67.90 at 7:52 A.M. SGT, while ICE Brent crude futures for October were down 0.07 percent at US$74.73 a barrel at 5:58 A.M. SGT, according to Bloomberg data.

Read more: US crude oil futures higher heading into Asian trading day

This article was originally published on Friday 24 August 2018 at 8:38 A.M. SGT; it has been updated to add the early Nikkei index movement. 

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