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U.S. Futures Swing With Yuan on China Trade Worry: Markets Wrap

The Hapag-Lloyd AG Leverkusen Express sails out of the Yangshan Deepwater Port, operated by Shanghai International Port Group Co. (SIPG), in this aerial photograph taken in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. Trump's threat to raise tariffs on all Chinese goods last week shattered a truce reached with Xi just weeks earlier, unleashing tit-for-tat actions on trade and currency policy that risk accelerating a wider geopolitical fight between the world's biggest economies. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

U.S. futures swung wildly with the yuan after a Trump administration official described the Sino-American trade deal as “over” before later saying that that remark was not as it seemed.

S&P 500 contracts dropped over 1% for a time before paring losses, after Trump aide Peter Navarro said “it’s over,” when asked in a Fox News interview about the trade agreement with China. He later suggested to the Wall Street Journal his comments were misunderstood. Treasuries climbed, the dollar rose and crude oil dropped. Asian benchmarks gave up earlier gains. Navarro’s remarks had revived concerns about deteriorating U.S.-China ties.
U.S. stocks, Treasury yields slide on Navarro's trade comments

Navarro, a White House adviser, made the comment to Fox after an exchange with the interviewer that reviewed Trump administration complaints with China’s handling of the coronavirus. He also said that China “lied” about the virus and that China policy would be a key plank in the November presidential election.

“Geopolitics are coming to the fore now once again,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte. “We are seeing the switch flipped back to risk off.”

The swings in risk assets Tuesday followed what had been a constructive session on Wall Street Monday, when equities climbed as investors continued to bet on companies with strong balance sheets and better prospects in work-from-home economy. The Nasdaq 100 jumped more than 1%, and the Nasdaq Composite capped a seventh straight advance in its longest rally of the year.

Influential investors had added to the positive sentiment prior to Navarro’s comments. Steve Schwarzman, chief executive officer of Blackstone Group Inc., said the economy is likely to benefit from a V-type recovery in the next few months, though getting back to 2019 level will take “quite a while.” Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said he sees gradual improvement on all fronts with so many resources poured into the health-care crisis.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • MSCI Inc. on Tuesday announces its market classification review for 2020.
  • The IMF will release new 2020 growth projections on Wednesday.
  • U.S. jobless claims, durable goods and GDP data are due Thursday.
  • A rebalance of Russell indexes is due on Friday.

These are the main moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures declined 0.3% as of 11:05 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 Index climbed 0.7%.
  • Topix index was up 0.3%.
  • Hang Seng Index fell 0.1%.
  • Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2%.
  • Kospi Index rose 0.2%.


  • The Japanese yen was at 106.93 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan fell 0.1% to 7.0669 per dollar.
  • The euro was little changed at $1.1259.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell about one basis point to 0.70%.
  • Australian 10-year yields ticked up to 0.89%.


  • West Texas Intermediate crude slid 1% to $40.34 a barrel.
  • Gold rose 0.1% to $1,756 an ounce.

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