(Bloomberg) — U.S. equity futures and European stocks struggled for traction as investors turned their focus to a long-anticipated meeting on trade between America and China, after contrasting reports on the talks spurred volatile trading in Asia. Treasuries edged higher.
Contracts on the S&P 500 Index fluctuated amid concern that the gathering scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Washington might be cut short. Earlier, futures were whipsawed during the Asia session after Bloomberg reported that next week’s planned tariff hike could be suspended, and following a report that President Donald Trump may let some U.S. companies supply Huawei Technologies Co. The yuan reversed a decline on news that the White House was considering a currency pact with Beijing.
European stocks drifted while Asian shares were ending the session mixed, with Japanese equities recouping their declines by the close, South Korea down and Hong Kong and Shanghai notching modest gains. Crude oil steadied after a whipsawing in Asia trading.
Markets have grown jittery against a backdrop of deteriorating economic data and fresh tensions between the U.S. and China in recent days, as they prepare for the first face-to-face talks between senior officials since July. Investor nerves were on full display in Asia as a series of headlines roiled markets, with traders attempting to digest reports on everything from the duration of the talks to the potential currency pact.
“The market is bracing for more headlines — which can be confusing — in the next two days; investors may want to keep their position light,” said Frances Cheung, head of Asia macro strategy at Westpac Banking Corp. “A partial deal is the key, as a ‘great deal’ is very unlikely to be reached at this stage, with China reluctant to touch on some structural issues,” she said.
Here are some key events coming up this week:
On Thursday, minutes from the European Central Bank’s most recent gathering are due.Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday and Saturday for an informal summit.The U.S. releases a key measure of inflation on Thursday.
Here are the main moves in markets:
Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed as of 9:51 a.m. London time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was steady.The Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.8%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 0.1%.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index sank 0.3%.The euro gained 0.4% to $1.1018.The British pound gained 0.2% to $1.2234.The onshore yuan increased 0.1% to 7.127 per dollar.The Japanese yen climbed 0.1% to 107.42 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped one basis point to 1.58%.The yield on two-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 1.45%.Germany’s 10-year yield gained one basis point to -0.54%.Britain’s 10-year yield jumped one basis point to 0.474%.Japan’s 10-year yield decreased less than one basis point to -0.203%.
West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.3% to $52.76 a barrel.Iron ore increased 3.1% to $88.85 per metric ton.Gold climbed 0.1% to $1,507.46 an ounce.
–With assistance from Sybilla Gross and Christopher Anstey.
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