Asia stocks wobble after G7; Trump-Kim summit, central bank meetings eyed
Asian stocks moved gingerly on Monday as a weekend G7 summit fanned trade conflict fears after US President Donald Trump backed out of a joint communique in a blow to the group’s efforts to show a united front.
Trump’s reversal, announced while he was en route to Singapore for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, sent his Group of Seven partners scrambling.
“The G7 meeting in Canada reiterated the growing rift between Washington and its allies over free trade,” wrote Tai Hui, chief market strategist for Asia Pacific at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
“Business confidence, and subsequently capital spending, is at risk if this tension continues through the summer,” he said, adding that central bank meetings will be critical events this week.
The S&P 500 futures ESc1 were down 0.17 percent. Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.1 percent while South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.2 percent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS inched up 0.05 percent.
The G7 jolt came shortly before an unprecedented meeting between Trump and North Korea’s Kim on Tuesday in Singapore, and with investors also braced for a raft of other key events.
The Federal Reserve holds a two-day meeting starting on June 12, and it is widely expected to raise interest rates for the second time this year. The focus is on whether the central bank will hint at raising rates a total of four times in 2018.
The European Central Bank meets on June 14 and it could signal intentions to start unwinding its massive bond purchasing program.
On Monday morning, the dollar slipped against the yen, which often draws demand in times of market turmoil and political tensions.
The greenback was down 0.15 percent at 109.420 yen.
The Canadian dollar, which has been dogged by fears Trump may scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), fell 0.35 percent to CUSD 1.2975 per dollar.
The euro, which was lifted last week amid the prospect of the ECB signaling its exit from easy policy, was 0.1 percent higher at USD 1.1782 .
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was a shade lower at 93.500 .DXY.
Crude oil prices extended losses after retreating on Friday on concerns about surging US output and falling demand in China.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 0.1 percent at USD 76.38 a barrel.