August 17, 2018 / 11:34 AM / 3 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks steady on plans for U.S.-China trade talks; Turkish lira buckles

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* MSCI ACWI inches higher

* Lira falls back nearly 5 pct

* Bear markets in emerging stocks, European banks and copper

By Ritvik Carvalho

LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Caution seeped back into world markets on Friday, with news of U.S.-China trade talks offset by an end-of-week wobble in emerging markets as the Turkish lira’s recovery ran out of steam.

Falls in Europe left MSCI’s All-Country World index , which tracks shares in 47 countries, less than 0.1 percent higher on the day and heading for its third straight weekly fall.

Futures indicated a lower open on Wall Street.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will meet U.S. representatives, China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that talks will take place in Washington on Aug. 21 and 22.

The world’s two largest economies are due to slap tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods on Aug. 23, in addition to levies that took effect on July 6.

“There is still a great deal of difference between agreeing to talk and coming to an agreement,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

“For now it appears an escalation has become less likely, hence yesterday’s rebound in equity markets,” he added, referring to an overnight rally on Wall Street.

Turkey’s lira, meanwhile, dropped as much as 8.5 percent to 6.3 per dollar, having recovered ground rapidly in recent days. It was last down by about 4 percent.

The currency plunged to a record low of 7.24 per dollar at the start of the week as a worsening of relations between Turkey and the United States added to losses driven by concerns over President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over monetary policy. The currency has lost a third of its value this year.

The United States and Turkey have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs in an attempt by Trump to pressure Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan into releasing detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, who denies charges that he was involved in a coup attempt against Erdogan two years ago.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured President Donald Trump at a cabinet meeting that sanctions were ready to be put in place unless Brunson was freed.

Turkey’s central bank meets next on Sept. 13. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s is scheduled to release a review of Turkey’s sovereign credit rating after the market close on Friday.

Memories of past emerging market crises, such as the Asian financial turmoil of 1997 and Turkey’s 2001 crisis, came back to haunt investors this week and prompted a wave of selling across emerging market assets as a whole.

LONE BULL AMID THE BEARS

Global stocks suffered this week as the sell-off spilled into developed markets, adding to the angst over U.S.-China trade relations and the fiscal prudence of Italy’s anti-establishment government.

Emerging market stocks entered a technical bear market as the sell-off intensified, registering a 20 percent drop.

There was more gloom elsewhere, with European banks and copper falling into bear market territory.

In a research note to clients, Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists noted there were four trading days to go until the S&P 500 bull market became the longest of all-time.

However, they also noted that global bonds were annualizing their worst price return since 1999, 11 of 21 commodity markets had experienced bear markets, and 1,254 constituents of MSCI’s All-Country World Index out of a total of 2,273 were in bear territory.

London copper slid 1 percent, declining for a fifth session in six and set for its biggest weekly decline since early July as supply disruption concerns eased.

Pig prices dropped on concerns about an outbreak of African swine fever in China, which could hit demand there, where retail sales top $840 billion a year.

Elsewhere, the dollar dipped against a basket of currencies , moving further away from its highest levels since June 2017, hit earlier in the week as investors bought the U.S. currency in a flight to safety.

The euro was up 0.1 percent, down from its highest since Tuesday earlier.

Other emerging market currencies such as the South African rand and the Mexican peso dipped 1 percent and 0.6 percent respectively, dragged lower by the falling Turkish lira.

Brent crude oil futures rose 1.1 percent to $72.24 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.6 percent at $65.87.

Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Additional reporting by Julien Ponthus and Marc Jones; Editing by David Goodman and Andrew Roche

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