Investors concerns over Washington and Beijing tensions overcame hopes for more stimulus, after the United Sates ordered the closure of China’s consulate in Houston amid accusations of spying. China said the order was an “unprecedented escalation” by Washington, and a source said Beijing was considering shutting the US consulate in Wuhan in retaliation.
After ticking higher earlier in the morning session, MSCI’s broadest index of Asian shares ex-Japan was last down 0.3%, weighed down by slumping Chinese stocks.
The Shanghai benchmark dropped 1.67% following four days of gains.
Australian shares were flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index reversed earlier gains to lose 0.08%.
Hopes for another round of US stimulus and strong corporate earnings boosted Wall Street overnight.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.62%, the S&P 500 gained 0.57% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.24%.
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2pm update: Tesla and Twitter soar up Dow Jones
Tesla and Twitter both saw an increase as the US stock markets open.
Elon Musk’s tech company was up by four percent, topping the Nasdaq 100.
Twitter popped 5.8 percent, leading the S&P 500.
Dow Jones futures angled up 0.2 percent overall, and S&P 500 futures traded almost 0.2 percent above fair value.
Nasdaq 100 futures almost were 0.2 percent higher on the market.
These figures come after the number of American filing for unemployment assistance rose more than expected for a second straight week.
Around 1.416 million applied for enployment in the week ending July 18, according to the Labor Department.
Claims in the week before were 1.3 million.
1.50pm update: Ten of the UK’s FTSE companies will not reopen in September
Following the coronvirus lockdown, businesses around the country were forced to close and employees were told to work from home.
Now as lockdown measures begin to ease, companies are beginning to open their stores and welcome staff back.
However, the Evening Standard have found at least ten business giants do not plan to have most, or start welcoming many more, employees back until at least September.
The survey asked 53 out of the FTSE 100 companies about future reopenings.
Many firms did not have or confirm a fixed return plan with other corporates looking at more flexible working in future.
1.35pm update: FTSE rises again
As of 12.45pm todaty the FTSE-100 index was up 39.33 at 6246.43.
This figure comes after the stock markets evened out this morning.
1.20pm update: US dollar hits four-month low
The US dollar hit four-month lows against other currencies.
China’s yuan partially recovered losses from an earlier slide, as investors took a wait-and-see approach to tensions between the two countries.
This comes after the US gave China until Friday to close its consulate in Houston following allegations of spying.
The escalating tension between the two largest economies sent the yuan on its sharpest slide in nearly two months this week.
Viraj Patel, FX and global macro strategist at Arkera, said: “Investors will likely equate further action (not just rhetoric) to an escalation in tensions and that could dent risk appetite more broadly if dollar/yuan moves back above the 7 handle.”
1pm update: EU markets on the up
European markets have soared today, following FTSE’s promising morning.
Euronext 100, CAC 40, DAX and Swiss Market Index have all enjoyed productive starts to the day.
Euronext is up 0.51%, CAC 0.50%, DAX 0.55% and Swiss Market Index 0.10%.
FTSE is up 0.54%.
12.00pm update: FTSE evens out
FTSE has plateaud after a dramatic open this morning.
After rising from 6,207 to 6,273 this morning, the index has dropped slightly.
It now sits at 6,244 – still a comfortable increase on open.
9.30am update: FTSE continues morning surge
FTSE has continued to climb this morning after a strong open.
After rising from 6,207 to 6,237 on open, the index has now hit 6,273.
9.00am update: Promising start to day for FTSE
The FTSE has enjoyed a promising start to the day, surging after a weak close yesterday.
FTSE has leapt from 6,207 on open to 6,237 as of 9am today.
It follows similarly strong opens in European markets.
More to follow…