Fundamental Comment

Asian stocks fluctuate amid rising global concerns, Fed minutes eyed

Asian stocks fluctuate amid rising global concerns, Fed minutes eyed

Asian stocks fluctuated on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest attack on China, ahead of minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting and the start of Jackson Hole later on Thursday.  

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.28 percent at 20,618.57, while China’s Shanghai Composite index ended 0.01 percent up and Hong Kong based Hang Seng rose 0.21 percent. 

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 0.94 percent to finish at 6,648.30, amidst fears mining companies would struggle from the global slowdown.

Trump said on Tuesday that he must confront China on trade even if it causes short-term damage to the U.S. economy because Beijing has been betraying Washington for decades. 

His remarks came after his government agreed to sell Taiwan fighter jets for up to $8 billion, which would in turn anger Beijing and stymie process of compromise that satisfies both sides of the trade dispute. 

Apart from the trade war, political turmoil in Hong Kong, Britain and Italy have increased uncertainty among investors. 

However, Italy FTSE MIB index gained 1.8%, leading advance among European shares, on hopes that a new coalition government can be formed.

The key attention in financial markets would now is shift to the minutes of the Fed's July meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, as investors would try to get clues on further U.S. interest rate cuts.  

Also, central bank's Jackson Hole seminar later on Thursday and the G7 summit this weekend should provide additional steps policymakers would embark to bolster economic growth. 

In the meantime, the dollar index which measures the performance of major six currencies against the U.S dollar, rose 0.04 percent at 98.102.

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