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TODAY marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, when Communist East Germany decided to allow its people to move freely to West Berlin.
KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI slipped lower in morning trade, led by plantation stocks amid ongoing tensions with India over palm oil exports.
TOKYO: Global stocks barely moved on Thursday as soft U.S. retail sales data raised concerns about the health of the world's largest economy and risk of global recession, while sterling was volatile as negotiations on a Brexit deal continued. Both MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> and Japan's Nikkei <.N225> were little changed in early trade while U.S. stock futures lost 0.15%. The S&P 500 <.SPX> shed 0.20% the previous day after data showed U.S. retail sales contracted in September for the first time in seven months, in a potential sign that manufacturing-led weakness could be spreading to the broader economy. "It looks like the trade war has claimed yet another victim, in addition to diminished business confidence and reduced investment spending, as consumers are starting to chicken out, " said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.Given U.S. consumption has been one of few remaining bright spots in the global economy, the data fanned worries about a global recession.U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators were working on nailing down a Phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign next month.But he also said there were no plans for another high-level meeting on the trade deal outlined last week."While the U.S. suspended a hike in tariffs, it hasn't gone as far as scrapping the tariffs altogether, so it is hard to expect a quick pick-up in the economy, " said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.Losses in equities were offset by a solid start to the earnings season, though that is partly because investors have already marked down their expectations substantially, with earnings for S&P 500 companies expected to show a decline of 3% for the quarter, according to Refinitiv data.Bank of America shares rose 2.0% following its quarterly results. Netflix rose 9.9% in after-hours trade after its earnings beat Wall Street estimates.In the currency market, soft U.S. retail sales took the shine out of the dollar.The dollar index <=USD> fell 0.30% on Wednesday and last stood at 97.964, having touched its lowest since Aug. 27. Against the yen the dollar slipped to 108.73 yen, after peaking at 108.90 on Tuesday.The euro stood at $1.1075, up 0.04% so far in Asia, near a one-month high of $1.1085 hit in U.S. trade on Wednesday.Sterling traded at $1.2823, having risen to as high as $1.2877 on Wednesday, its loftiest level since mid-May.It has risen more than 5% in the past five sessions on the prospect that the United Kingdom and the European Union can strike a fresh deal to avoid a no-deal exit in the summit on Thursday and Friday.Investors have welcomed optimistic comments from key officials during last few days. British culture minister Nicky Morgan said late on Wednesday there is a good chance of a deal.Still, many doubts remained, not the least of which is if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson can ensure his government and factious parliament approve the plan.In one sign of investor caution, in currency option markets, risk reversal spreads in sterling turned in favour of pound puts after briefly favouring pound calls earlier this week, meaning demand to protect the currency's downside is stronger than that for the upside.The Turkish lira steadied off seven-week lows as U.S. President Donald Trump's sanctions for Turkey's military incursion into Syria were perceived to be lighter than expected.Lira bears also suffered a flashback of their suffocating March squeeze as the authorities moved to keep a lid on volatility by restricting the supply of lira to overseas counterparts.The lira stood at 5.8825 per dollar Oil prices eased after U.S. data showed a larger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stocks.Brent crude futures fell 0.82% to $58.93 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 1.01% to $52.82 per barrel.
MUNICH: Volkswagen AG’s management board has decided to delay a decision on giving the go-ahead on a 1.3bil (US$1.4bil) car plant due to the political upheaval caused by the country’s military action in northern Syria.
SINGAPORE: The global economy is wobbling and whether it topples over is the big question in financial markets, executive suites and the corridors of power.
CHINA, the US, Germany and Britain remain “top dogs” on investor's watchlist, but with one revision: Turkey decided to launch a military offensive against Kurds, thus shifting the centre of attention to themselves.
There are two great ironies coming out of the current protests in Hong Kong.
NEW YORK: Stocks gained on Wednesday on a report that China could yet agree to a partial trade deal with the United States despite recent tensions, while the prospect of a last-minute Brexit agreement between the European Union and Britain seemed as remote as ever.
NEW YORK: Oil prices slid on Tuesday as Washington's blacklisting of more Chinese companies dampened hopes for a trade deal between the two countries, although unrest in Iraq and Ecuador lent some support to crude prices.
TOKYO: Asian shares inched up on Tuesday, with Chinese shares making modest gains after a week-long holiday, though investors remained cautious over U.S.-China trade talks after President Donald Trump said a quick trade deal was unlikely.