Asian stocks rise as trade war worries worsen

A currency trader uses a calculator as another watches a monitor at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul South Korea Monday Aug. 12 2019. Asian stocks gained Monday amid investor jitters the U.S.-China trade war

A currency trader uses a calculator as another watches a monitor at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul South Korea Monday Aug. 12 2019. Asian stocks gained Monday amid investor jitters the U.S.-China trade war

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.55 cents U.S. compared with an average of 75.64 cents USA on Friday.

On Monday, Australian shares dipped 0.17% and Indonesian shares fell 0.53% while the South Korean market reversed early losses to rise 0.37%. London was unchanged and Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

Investors have been encouraged by hopes global central banks will keep interest rates low or cut them further to shore up economic growth. But they worry President Donald Trump's impending September 1 tariff hike on more Chinese imports will scuttle talks aimed at ending their trade war. "Headwinds remain strong as a deal in the short term between the USA and China is a long shot".

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2% to 2,814.99 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.4% to 25,824.72.

Seoul's Kospi added 0.5% to 1,947.05 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was flat at 6,582.60.

"The market took the higher (yuan) fixings in its stride and will now focus on establishing a new equilibrium for USD/CNY".

Trading activity was relatively muted with some regional markets, including Japan, Singapore and India, closed for holidays on Monday.

Meanwhile, futures on the S&P 500 are reporting 0.20% gains.

The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Resources Beer Holdings Co Ltd, which has fallen 2.04%, PetroChina Co Ltd, which has lost 1.0% and Hengan International Group Company Ltd, down by 0.9%.

USA crude was down 0.48% to $54.24 a barrel and global benchmark Brent crude shed 0.43% to $58.28 per barrel. After giving up some gains on Friday, the precious metal was higher on Monday, rising 0.18 per cent to $1,499.52 per ounce. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, shed 13 cents to $58.40 per barrel in London.

The earlier gains had been aided by Chinese shares rallying from the previous week's losses.

At press time, the USD/JPY is trading at 105.46, down 0.10% on the day and is looking to set new multi-month lows below Friday's low of 105.27. The euro gained to $1.1208 from $1.1201.