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U.S. stocks just had their worst second-quarter start in a long time as tech continues to get hit and U.S.-China trade tensions remain front and center. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
New Quarter, Same Stock Volatility
Asian markets look set to come under pressure after U.S. stocks had their worst start to a second quarter since the Great Depression. Tech shares led a tumble in all the main gauges. Fresh presidential criticism of Amazon.com and retaliatory tariffs from China rattled markets as the S&P 500 fell 2.2 percent, dropping below its 200-day moving average, a key technical support level. Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar fluctuated, while the VIX rose to around 24 from just under 20 Thursday. The decline came after Asia and Europe saw thin trading levels with many markets still closed for the Easter holiday.
China Urges More Trade Talks
China urged trade talks with the U.S. to prevent greater damage to relations while saying that previously announced retaliatory measures on American imports took effect Monday. The U.S. didn’t respond to China’s March 26 request for consultation on Washington’s steel and aluminum tariffs, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement Monday, adding that officials have widespread public support for tougher measures and repeating Beijing’s stance that disputes should be resolved with dialogue. China previously planned to seek compensation for trade lost because of the U.S. metals actions.
South Korea Deepens Vietnam Ties
Facing persistent trade tensions with China and the U.S., South Korea is deepening ties with Vietnam, which is on course to surpass the U.S. as Korean companies’ second-biggest export market. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is looking to expand trade with Southeast Asia as one way for corporate giants such as Samsung Electronics to diversify production bases and export markets. Seoul sees the U.S. under President Donald Trump as an increasingly demanding and unreliable trade partner, while tensions with China over the U.S. Thaad missile-defense system have dragged on for more than a year.
BOJ’s Crypto Website
Bitcoin investing is popular in Japan, but the nation has also had several high-profile cryptocurrency heists. Now, the central bank has come up with a rather negative Q&A for those seeking answers on cryptos. The page is called “Let’s think about cryptocurrencies!" and was released on a financial education site run by the Bank of Japan. As bitcoin closed out a dismal quarter, the BOJ raising awareness about crypto risks is unlikely to cheer market bulls. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has previously expressed apprehension about them, and the finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 nations last month warned that cryptos could destabilize financial markets.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to keep its cash rate target unchanged at 1.5% on Tuesday. Bloomberg Economics says growth may push above potential this year, but inflation remains below the central bank’s 2%-3% target range – and says stabilization in mining investment may be delayed until 2019.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Apple plans to put its own chips in Macs instead of Intel’s.
- Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died at 81.
- Trump is pushing for a preliminary Nafta deal by mid-April, sources say.
- Egypt's President El-Sisi wins a second term with more than 97 percent of the vote.
- China’s plan to lure tech listings is “excellent.”
- Tesla may just miss its quarterly Model 3 goals.
- Want to buy the world’s largest indoor rainforest?