Singapore market trends Thursday: Signs of easing US-China trade tensions may boost sentiment

Singapore one dollar bill

Singapore shares may steady on Thursday after a positive lead from Wall Street amid hopes of easing trade tensions as the U.S. invited China for another round of trade talks.

“After wobbling most of the day in extremely choppy markets, the U.S. equity market finished mostly higher supported by higher oil prices and news that the U.S. has formally sent an invitation to China to resume trade talks,” STephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at OANDA, said in a note on Thursday. “But festivities were tempered as the market gave a nod to comments earlier in the week from crucial White House advisor Kudlow stated that ‘important information’ needs to be answered before celebrating.”

Other analysts also sounded notes of caution.

“Investors are hopeful that these talks will yield results but until the U.S. officially agrees to dropping tariffs we are skeptical as we’ve seen how these talks can break down days after they begin,” Kathy Lien, managing director for foreign-exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, said in a note late Wednesday U.S. time.

“Just take a look at Canada. Earlier this week, Canada and the U.S. said major progress is being made but according to Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, milk, which has long been the problem is still the biggest issue in negotiations,” she added.

Indexes

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.96 percent in early trade, while South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.05 percent.

The Straits Times Index ended Wednesday up 0.47 percent at 3124.65; September futures for the index were at 3122 on Wednesday, while October futures were at 3127.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Wednesday up 0.11 percent at 25,998.92, the Nasdaq was down 0.23 percent at 7954.229 and the S&P 500 nudged up 0.04 percent to 2888.92.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended Wednesday down 0.29 percent at 26,345.039, while China’s CSI 300 was off 0.69 percent at 3202.025.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 94.81 at 8:18 A.M. SGT, off levels as high as 95.28 on Wednesday, according to ICE futures data.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield was at 2.968 percent at 8:31 A.M. SGT, broadly steady with Wednesday’s levels, according to Tullett Prebon data.

The euro/dollar was at 1.1632 at 8:34 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.1568 to 1.1650 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/yen was at 111.37 at 8:35 A.M. SGT after trading in a 111.09 to 111.651 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/Sing was at 1.3721 at 8:36 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.3711 to 1.3777 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/ yuan ended Wednesday at 6.8492 after trading in a 6.8492 to 6.8792 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.

Oil

Nymex WTI crude oil futures for October were down 0.24 percent at US$70.20 a barrel at 8:14 A.M. SGT, while ICE Brent crude oil futures for November were off 0.13 percent at US$79.64 a barrel at 8:14 A.M. SGT, according to Bloomberg data.

Read more: Crude oil seen higher in Asia ahead of IEA report

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