SHANGHAI, Sept 4 2018 : Asian shares fell in early trade today, amid growing concerns over escalating international trade disputes and as emergency austerity measures in Argentina highlighted turbulence in emerging markets.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 percent after European shares ended mostly flat, though a weak British pound helped to lift London’s blue-chip FTSE .FTSE almost 1 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei .N225 slid 0.3 percent and Australian shares were 0.2 percent lower.
U.S. markets were closed yesterday for Labor Day.
The Argentine peso ARS=RASL closed 3.14 percent weaker yesterday and is expected to face further pressure in coming days.
Turkey’s central bank signaled yesterday it would take steps to combat “significant risks” to price stability, comments seen as hinting at interest rate hikes.
The lira TRYTOM=D3, which has lost 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar this year, was 0.3 percent weaker at 6.6400 to the dollar.
U.S. President Donald Trump gave fresh impetus to trade worries at the weekend when he said there was no need to keep Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement and warned Congress not to meddle with the trade talks.
Trump was also reported to have said he is ready to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of imports from China as soon as a public comment period on the plan ends on Thursday.
“President Trump’s war of words against Canada amid negotiations of the NAFTA trade agreement raised concerns that his stance against other countries such as China would remain combative. This wasn’t helped by data showing some weakness in China’s export-focused manufacturing sector,” ANZ analysts said in a note today.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 2.8585 percent versus its U.S. close of 2.853 percent on Friday.
The two-year yield, which rises with traders’ expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 2.633 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.629 percent last week. The dollar dropped 0.13 percent against the yen to 110.93 JPY=, while the euro EUR= was down 0.1 percent on the day at $1.1611.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was flat at 95.144.
U.S. crude ticked up 0.33 percent at $70.03 a barrel. Brent crude fell to $78.06 per barrel.