China eager to defuse trade pressures

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Iconic American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson said it would move some production overseas to avoid tariffs the European Union is placing on motorcycles made in the U.S. Those tariffs were a response to taxes the U.S. placed on steel and aluminum from Europe. -China trade before the USA mid-term election was anticipated and the Chinese stock market was forecast to calm down during the summer earnings season.

TECH DOWNTURN: Eyes will be on USA technology stocks, which had tumbled Monday on reports that the Trump administration plans to limit exports of some high-tech products to China, and also limit investment in technology firms by companies with substantial Chinese ownership.

"Such legislation will provide additional tools to combat the predatory investment practices that threaten our critical technology leadership, national security, and future economic prosperity", Trump said in a statement.

The USD/CNH is now up 6% since late March.

But that rally has fizzled. Tech stocks fell 0.63 percent, while industrials held a slim 0.15 percent gain.

Confusion remained the watchword with USA trade policy.

The impact would be big if these challenges could not be settled, as the WTO is playing a critical role in global trade liberalization and facilitation, said Wang. "The problems that we're dealing with in the market aren't going to be allayed by a couple of interviews". France's CAC 40 was 0.2 percent higher at 5,291.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .miapj0000pus was off 0.05 percent after touching a two-year trough on Tuesday. Losses were led by China, where Shenzen-listed blue chips sank 2.2 percent to stand a whisker above 13-month lows.

US oil prices slipped slightly after climbing more than 3 percent on Wednesday to reach three-and-a-half year highs, helped by supply disruptions in Libya and Canada as well as government data showing a bigger-than-expected drop in USA crude stockpiles.

The yuan slipped to a fresh six-month low against the dollar, as the central bank allowed the biggest one-day weakening in the currency in percentage terms since January 2017.

Yet the dollar could not sustain gains on the yen and eased back to 109.85 from an early 110.12.

In commodity markets, gold was seemingly no longer considered a safe haven by investors and hit its lowest in over six months. The Nasdaq composite added 0.4 percent to 7,561.63.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 2 cents to $68.06 per barrel in NY.

"For the most part, the specter of trade wars is still really weighing on risk here and that's what's keeping Treasuries better bid", said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities in NY. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 21 cents to $72.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 3.6 percent to finish at $70.53 a barrel in NY on Tuesday.

In oil markets, prices rose on supply disruption in Canada, falling USA crude stocks, uncertainty over Libyan exports and US demands that importers stop buying Iranian crude from November.

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