Stocks Slide Eases as Markets Whipsawed on Trade: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Thursday morning was not one for coffee breaks for traders in Asia, with markets whipsawed by contrasting headlines on the chances of some sort of progress in critical U.S.-China trade talks.Futures on the S&P 500 Index initially fell sharply on concerns that the negotiations -- scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Washington -- might be cut short. They erased most losses after news from Bloomberg that next week’s tariff hike could be suspended and a report from the New York Times that President Donald Trump could let some U.S. companies supply Huawei Technologies Co.Japanese shares also recouped most of their decline, while South Korean ones were still well down. Hong Kong and Shanghai edged up. The yuan climbed after sliding earlier, and the yen dipped after seeing early gains. Crude oil was also whipsawed, erasing most of its early losses. Treasuries ticked higher.Following is the sequence of events Thursday:The South China Morning Post reported that deputies had made no progress in talks before the principal negotiations. The paper said Vice Premier Liu He would also cut the scheduled talks short by a day, and depart Washington Thursday.Bloomberg and other media reported that there was no change in the schedule, with talks set to continue Friday.Fox Business reported anew that the talks would be one day.Bloomberg said the White House is looking at rolling out a previously agreed currency pact with China as part of an early harvest deal that could also see a tariff increase next week suspended.The New York Times said the Trump administration would soon issue licenses to U.S. companies to supply non-sensitive goods to Huawei.The Financial Times said the U.S. is weighing options to crack down on shipments of contraband goods from China.“The market is bracing for more headlines -- which can be confusing -- in the next two days; investors may want to keep their position light,” said Frances Cheung, head of Asia macro strategy at Westpac Banking Corp. “A partial deal is the key, as a ‘great deal’ is very unlikely to be reached at this stage, with China reluctant to touch on some structural issues,” she said.Here are some key events coming up this week:On Thursday, minutes from the European Central Bank’s most recent gathering are due.Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday and Saturday for an informal summit.The U.S. releases a key measure of inflation on Thursday.Here are the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 Index were down 0.2% as of 5:55 a.m. in London after dropping as much as 1.3%. The underlying gauge had risen 0.9% Wednesday.Japan’s Topix Index fell 0.2% after sliding 1.1% earlier.Korea’s Kospi Index declined 0.8%.S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.2%.Shanghai Composite rose 0.2%.Hang Seng Index rose 0.2%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures were flat. CurrenciesThe yen was flat at 107.50 per dollar after rising as much as 0.4% earlier.The offshore yuan was up 0.3% at 7.1182 per dollar after falling as much as 0.4% earlier.The euro gained 0.2% to $1.0987.The Aussie climbed 0.3% to 67.47 U.S. cents. BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries fell about one basis point, to 1.57%.Australian 10-year yields edged up to 0.90%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2% to $52.51 a barrel after tumbling as much as 2.3% earlier.Gold rose 0.2% to $1,508.25 an ounce.To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Anstey in Tokyo at;Sybilla Gross in Sydney at sgross61@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at, Cormac Mullen, Ravil ShirodkarFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.