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NIKKEI 225 Investors Jittery After Trump Puts Japan on Tariff Radar


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Early Friday, Asia stock indexes are posting mixed results as jittery investors continue to express concerns over a possible escalation in the U.S. - China trade war perhaps later today.

Trading is light amid worries that U.S - China relations could worsen, following reports which said the Trump administration could place tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as soon as a public comment period ends at 0400 GMT. China's commerce ministry has said the country would retaliate if the U.S. imposes new tariffs.

At 0230 GMT, Japan's NIKKEI 225 Index is trading 22271.99, down 215.95 or -0.96% after U.S. President Trump hinted to columnist James Freeman that Japan could be next in the trade cross hairs of America, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

Japan on Trump's Tariff Radar

According to reports, President Trump told a columnist for The Wall Street Journal that he will take his trade fights to Japan next.

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal's James Freeman wrote about a phone call he received from the president, in which Trump "described his good relations with Japanese leadership but then added:  "Of course that will end as soon as I tell them how much they have to pay.'"

During the phone call, Freeman wrote, the president sounded "still very focused on eliminating trade deficits with America's trading partners."

U.S. Equity Markets

The major U.S. equity indexes finished mixed on Thursday with tech shares posting steep losses for a third session.

In the cash market, the tech-driven NASDAQ Composite finished at 7924.22, down 70.95 or -0.89%. The index was dragged down by shares of Amazon and Apple which fell 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. The index finished the session down 2.5 percent for the week. Additional pressure was provided by Facebook shares which declined 2.8 percent and Alphabet, which declined 1.3 percent.

Collectively, the worst-performing tech stocks were in the chipmaker sector. Micron Technology fell 10 percent, while Lam Research and Applied Materials fell 6.7 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. The catalysts behind the selling pressure were warnings on the semiconductor sector from a Morgan Stanley analyst and an executive at KLA-Tencor.

U.S. Treasury Markets

U.S. Treasury yields fell on Thursday as investors expressed disappointment with a private sector employment report. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.877 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was lower at 3.054 percent. Treasury traders were also keeping an eye on continuing trade negotiations.

U.S. Economic Reports

Just a day ahead of the U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls report on Friday, ADP and Moody's Analytics reported that private companies added 163,000 jobs last month. Economists were looking for a gain of 190,000.

Weekly Unemployment Claims came in better-than-expected at 203K, versus a 214K estimate. Factory Orders fell 0.8%, worse than the 0.5% decline forecast. Final Services PMI was 54.8, below the 55.2 forecast.

The major ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI report blew away the estimates with a reading of 58.5, versus a 56.8 forecast. The previous read was 55.7.

"Logistics, tariffs and employment resources continue to have an impact on many of the respective industries," the institute said in a statement. "Overall, the respondents remain positive about business conditions and the economy."

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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This article appears in: Investing , Bonds , US Markets , World Markets
Referenced Symbols: SPX



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