© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man looks in front of an electronic board with stock information to a brokerage house in Nanjing
By Swati Pandey
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian stocks resigned on Thursday and close to an eight-month high The dollar eased, as cautious European and US central banks boosted investor concerns over the slowing global economy and trade protectionism.
Spreadbetters hinted at a cautious start for Europe: Futures on Eurostoxx 50 were flat while futures on the German and London Stock Exchange were lower.
Risky assets have been volatile so far this year while bonds have risen for fear of a recession in the United States and the possibility of a stronger slowdown in other major economies including the eurozone.
US President Donald Trump also weighed on sentiment and escalated trade tensions by threatening to impose new tariffs on goods from the European Union, even though the Sino-US trade dispute remains unresolved.
All these risks tore off Asian stocks on Thursday.
The broadest index of MSCI Asia-Pacific equities outside Japan fell 0.4 percent after four days in a row, the highest since last August. In Japan, the early losses were reversed and were 0.1
Losses in Asia were led by Chinese equities, with the CSI300 leading index falling 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong stumbling 0.7 percent.
Australian equities also lost ground as the Prime Minister called for a national election on 18 May, which had come under pressure due to political uncertainty.
"Traders continue to operate in a" wait and watch "mode while looking for a cautious market after the next opportunity," said Nick Twidale, an analyst with Rakuten Securities Australia in Sydney. "There are two major event risks behind us with the ECB and the Fed."
But, according to Twidale, investors were still looking for a trigger that would push markets out of their usual trading areas.
The European Central Bank (ECB) maintained its loose policy and warned that global economic growth was still at risk. The ECB has already pushed back its first post-crisis rate hike, and President Mario Draghi has raised the prospect of more support for the troubled Eurozone economy should the economic slowdown continue.
"If, as we expect, the eurozone's growth continues to disappoint in the coming months, we believe that the ECB politicians will take a more accommodating stance," Capital Economics analysts write in a note.
While the monetary policy framework for equities is usually a blessing as investors go hunting, the stock's performance could negatively impact corporate earnings in a weakening economy.
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Regardless, data showed that US consumer prices rose most in 14 months in March, but underlying inflation remained favorable against the backdrop of slowing global economic growth.
The minutes of a meeting of Federal Reserve decision makers from 19 to 20 March showed that they were willing to be patient with changes in interest rate policy. She has seen the US economy undergo a global slowdown over the next few years Has gone through recession.
In British currencies, the British pound held gains after European leaders agreed to extend the deadline for Britain to leave the Union by the end of October and avert a possible crash on Friday's bloc Without a divorce agreement more threatened months of uncertainty.
Sterling stayed in a triangle between 1.2945 and 1.3380 USD last month. It was last at $ 1,30880.
That fell to 96,933 for a fourth consecutive day against a basket of major currencies. The Euro was barely changed at $ 1.1275, while the Japanese yen was slightly weaker after three days of trading at $ 111.11 per dollar.
For futures, futures fell 27 cents to $ 71.46 a barrel. 30 cents fell to 64.31 dollars. Gold hovered Thursday near a two-week top at $ 1,306.97 an ounce.