Asian stocks slipped on Wednesday as intensifying concerns about global economic growth gripped financial markets, sending Wall Street shares tumbling and driving the safe haven dollar up from a two-week low. U.S. stocks sold off for a second day on Tuesday as energy shares dropped with oil prices, while retailers including Target and Kohl’s sank after weak earnings and forecasts, fuelling worries about economic growth. U.S. President Donald Trump is due to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later this month during the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. The U.S. financial markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the traditional start to the U.S. holiday shopping season.
The dollar traded firm against major peers on Wednesday, extending overnight gains as investors shunned riskier assets in favour of safe haven currencies on escalating worries about slowing global growth and the U.S.-Sino trade war. Greenback had been under pressure for most of this week as cautious comments by Federal Reserve officials and surprisingly weak U.S. economic data suggested the central bank could slow the pace of monetary policy tightening. With the Federal Reserve widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points in December, analysts think the greenback could trade with a positive bias in the short term, despite lowering their longer-term rate hike expectations. Italy is at loggerheads with the European Commission and many fellow euro zone governments over its expansionary 2019 budget, which breaks EU’s fiscal rules.
In Currencies EURUSD is trading near 1.1372 handle ahead of the EU session as r confidence retreated on Tuesday as Italian bank shares hit a two-year low and the spread between German and Italian bond yields widened. USDJPY backed off to 112.91 heading downside towards 112.00.G BPUSD was little changed at 1.2786, having lost 0.5 percent versus the greenback. The pound is seen likely to trade sideways until the market gets more clarity on progress in the Brexit deal.
In commodity markets, Oil prices bounced back on Wednesday in Asia, a day after hitting their lowest point in 2018 after U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S. remains a “steadfast partner” with Saudi Arabia despite the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Meanwhile, a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories was cited as supportive for oil prices on Wednesday, although markets remained wary of excessive supply and an uncertain outlook. Brent crude oil futures bounced 1.3 percent to $63.35 per barrel after sliding more than 6 percent on Tuesday, when it plumbed a near one-year low of $61.71.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures, were up 1.45 percent at $54.21 per barrel after retreating roughly 6 percent to $52.77 on Tuesday, its lowest since late October 2017.