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Asia Pacific stocks set to trade mixed amid US-China trade jitters

運営事務局 JIMOPLE 76 September 20, 2019

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set to trade mixed at the open on Friday following a series of developments overnight on the U.S.-China trade front that dampened hopes of a deal being struck soon.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Japanese shares, with the Nikkei futures contract in Chicago at 21,980 and its counterpart in Osaka at 21,940. The Nikkei 225 last closed at 22,044.45.

Meanwhile, Australian stocks were set to open little changed. The SPI futures contract was last at 6,721.0, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200's last close at 6,717.50.

Investors will watch for reaction to overnight developments on the U.S.-China trade front. The South China Morning Post reported Thursday that known China hawk and Trump advisor Michael Pillsbury warned the U.S. is ready to escalate the trade war if a deal isn't struck soon, citing an interview in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Hu Xijin — editor-in-chief of Chinese state media Global Times — tweeted overnight that China is "not as anxious to reach a deal as the US side thought."

Those developments come as the U.S. and China are expected to hold high-level trade negotiations in the coming weeks.

The People's Bank of China will also publish its new loan prime rates (LPR) on Friday, set to be out at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. The LPR is the interest rate that banks charge their most creditworthy customers and a revamp was announced by the Chinese central bank in August in order to lower borrowing costs to boost the country's economy.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended its trading day down 52.29 points at 27,094.79 and the S&P 500 closed around the flatline at 3,006.79. The Nasdaq Composite finished its trading day less than 0.1% higher at 8,182.88.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.272 after slipping from levels above 98.4 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.02 against the dollar after strengthening from levels above 108.3 in the previous session. The Australian dollar was at $0.6793 after slipping from levels above $0.680 yesterday.

What's on tap:

  • China: People's Bank of China publishes new loan prime rates at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Hong Kong: Consumer Price Index for August at 4:30 p.m. HK/SIN
  • Japan: Consumer Price Index for August

— CNBC's Thomas Franck and Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.