Singapore market trends Friday: Hopes for US trade war resolution may bolster shares

Singapore container portSingapore’s container port

Singapore’s shares may open higher on Friday, tracking slight gains in early Asian markets and on Wall Street on Thursday as some hopes emerge that the U.S. trade war could be resolved, but concerns over Brexit may temper any gains.

“The biggest story in the financial markets today was the meltdown in sterling. The British pound dropped nearly 2 percent intraday as Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal dissolves into flames,” Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign-exchange strategy for BK Asset Management, said in a note on Thursday U.S. time.

“Political troubles are never good for the currency but in the case of the U.K., GBP/USD could drop to 1.25 on the prospect of a no deal Brexit, leadership challenge and slower growth,” she said. “The U.K.’s troubles extend far beyond Britain’s borders. A disorderly Brexit benefits no one including the Eurozone,” she added, pointing to the common currency’s failure to rise.

Potentially mitigating those concerns was hopes of a light at the end of the U.S. trade war tunnel, with reports of China potentially make concessions. But Reuters reported, citing a senior Trump administration official, that China’s written response to U.S. demands wasn’t likely to spur a breakthrough at the upcoming talks between U.S. President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping.

Indexes

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index as up 0.28 percent at 8:22 A.M. SGT, while South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.64 percent at 8:28 A.M. SGT.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index ended Thursday up 0.37 percent at 3054.53; November futures were at 3055 on Thursday, while December and January futures were at 3059 and 3061 respectively.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.75 percent on Thursday to end at 26,103.34, while China’s CSI 300 added 1.17 percent to 3242.372.

Malaysia’s KLCI rose 0.34 percent to end at 1694.21, while Indonesia’s IDX Composite gained 1.66 percent to end Thursday at 5955.74.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 0.83 percent to end Thursday at 25,289.27, the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.72 percent to 7259.032 and the S&P 500 gained 1.06 percent to 2730.20. Futures for the three indexes were slightly lower in early trade.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the buck against a basket of currencies, was at 97.10 at 7:05 A.M. SGT, after spiking as high as 97.39 on Thursday from levels as low as 96.79 earlier in the session, according to ICE futures data.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield was at 3.117 percent at 8:20 A.M. SGT, after rising from as low as 3.085 percent early in Thursday’s session to as high as around 3.123 percent, according to Tullett Prebon data.

The euro/dollar was at 1.1331 at 8:26 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.1270 to 1.1362 range on Thursday, according to DZHI data.

The British pound/dollar was at 1.2782 at 8:32 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.2879 to 1.3072 range on Thursday, according to DZHI data.

The euro/British pound was at 0.8863 at 8:33 A.M. SGT after trading in a 0.8665 to 0.8758 range on Thursday, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/yen was at 113.544 at 8:27 A.M. SGT after trading in a 113.07 to 113.707 range on Thursday, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/yuan ended Thursday at 6.9379 after trading in a 6.9325 to 6.9499 range during the session, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/Singapore dollar was at 1.3754 at 8:27 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.3734 to 1.3791 range on Thursday, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/Malaysian ringgit was at 4.1850 at 8:01 A.M. SGT after trading in a 4.1843 to 4.1945 range on Thursday, according to DZHI data.

The dollar/Indonesian rupiah ended Thursday at 14,675 after trading in a 14,640 to 14,785 range during the session, according to DZHI data.

Oil

Nymex WTI crude oil futures for December were down 0.07 percent at US$56.42 a barrel at 8:03 A.M. SGT, while ICE Brent crude oil futures for January were up 0.76 percent at US$66.62 a barrel at 6:59 A.M. SGT, according to Bloomberg data.

Read more: Crude oil rises ahead of Asia trade on Friday on potential OPEC supply cut