ASIAN SHARES CAUTIOUS AS SINO-US TENSIONS SIMMER
Asian stocks held tight ranges on Monday as worries over flaring tensions between the United States and China weighed on sentiment although signs of a recovery in industrial activity in the world’s second-largest economy capped losses, Swati Pandey wrote for Reuters on August 10, 2020.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS see-sawed between red and green but held in small ranges to stay below a 6-1/2 month peak touched last week. Trading was expected to be light with Japanese and Singaporean markets closed for public holidays. Chinese shares started lower with the blue-chip CSI300 .CSI300 down a shade and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index .HSI falling 0.2%.
While deteriorating Sino-US relations hung heavy on sentiment, data showing a slowing in China’s factory deflation boosted hopes of economic recovery in the world’s second biggest economy. China’s industrial output is steadily returning to levels seen before the pandemic paralyzed huge swathes of the economy, as pent-up demand, government stimulus and surprisingly resilient exports propel a recovery.
Investors were circumspect after US President Donald Trump signed two executive orders banning WeChat, owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent (0700.HK), and TikTok in 45 days’ time while announcing sanctions on 11 Chinese and Hong Kong officials. Rounding out the actions, U.S. regulators recommended that overseas firms listed on American exchanges be subject to US public audit reviews from 2022.