Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 14 News List

‘It’s becoming childish’: Investors react to Trump


Just when investors thought stock markets across the globe had calmed before the weekend, US President Donald Trump urged his administration to impose tariffs on an additional US$100 billion in Chinese imports.

While US stock-index futures tumbled after Trump’s move, investor reaction in equity markets across Asia was not as big.

Japan’s TOPIX and South Korea’s KOSPI on Friday both slipped 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.1 percent after a holiday on Thursday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was flat at 5,788.70.

Taiwan’s equity markets were open for only two days this week, due to the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Tuesday ended down 66.74 points, or 0.61 percent, at 10,821.53, down 0.8 percent from Friday last week’s close at 10,906.22.

China’s stock and currency markets were also shut for the holiday.

“It’s becoming childish,” said Nader Naeimi, Sydney-based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. “At some point investors will say enough is enough, there’s just too much political volatility now.”

“The reality is that the fundamental backdrop for markets hasn’t changed,” said Kerry Craig, Melbourne-based global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

“The noise is distracting when nothing else is happening, a solid 2Q earnings season in the US could see investors refocus on fundamentals and the corporate outlook,” Craig said.

“I get up every day to write my note and it turns completely in opposite direction. I am getting up more often than not at 3am,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for the Asia-Pacific region at Oanda Corp.

“One should not be surprised to find markets growing increasingly desensitized to such talks,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte.

“I continue to believe the trade war won’t happen in the end. I think it’s more like bluffing. That’s typical Trump. I read one of his books and he said he’d always act unpredictable before negotiation so he could get more bargaining power,” Everbright Sun Hung Kai Co strategist Kenny Wen said.

Additional reporting by AP and CNA, with staff writer

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