Asian stocks struggled for traction on Wednesday, as relief over Washington’s temporary relaxation of curbs against China’s Huawei Technologies failed to offset deeper worries about an intensifying trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
In opening European trade, the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures were down 0.03%, Germany’s DAX futures were up 0.01% and Britain’s FTSE futures were up 0.28%.
The Chinese markets, which have endured a volatile few months, were on a cautious note. The Shanghai Composite Index was last a fraction lower.
Australian stocks were flat and South Korea’s KOSPI edged up 0.2%. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.1%.
The dollar traded at 110.460 yen after popping up to a two-week high of 110.675 against the safe-haven Japanese currency overnight as U.S. yields rose in the wake of gains by Wall Street shares.
The euro was little changed at $1.1156 after brushing a 2-1/2-week trough of $1.1142.
The pound was steady at $1.2712. Sterling had sunk to a four-month low of $1.2685 on Tuesday on Brexit worries but bounced back after British Prime Minister Theresa May proposed a “new” Brexit deal.
The Australian dollar, sensitive to shifts in risk sentiment, inched down 0.1% to $0.6878. The currency had suffered losses the previous day when Australia’s central bank governor said interest rates might be cut as soon as next month.
In commodities, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 0.89% at $62.57 per barrel.