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Asian Markets Fall Amid Geopolitical Risks; U.S., Japan Reach Initial Trade Accord

 09.17.2019 © Reuters
Asian markets fell in morning trade on Tuesday amid geopolitical risks in the Middle East.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were down 0.8% and 0.7% respectively by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.8%.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, China’s Commerce Ministry said today that Vice Finance Minister Liao Min will lead a delegation to visit the U.S. later this week for trade discussions.

U.S. oil’s 10% surge after Saudi attack puts it on track for the biggest daily gain in 3½ years

This image provided Sunday by the U.S. government and DigitalGlobe and annotated by the source, shows damage to the infrastructure at at Saudi Aramco's Kuirais oil field in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia.
Oil futures surged in electronic trading Sunday, with West Texas Intermediate set to jump more than 10% on Monday after a weekend drone attack on major crude facilities in Saudi Arabia threatened to create a supply crunch that was roiling global crude markets.

Asia shares at six-week high on trade progress, ECB easing

09.13.2019, TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters)
Asian stocks climbed to their highest in six weeks on Friday, as signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and aggressive stimulus from the European Central Bank helped to calm fears of a global economic slowdown.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.5% to their highest since Aug. 1, while Japan's Nikkei rose more than 1.0% to four-month highs. Markets in mainland China and South Korea were closed for public holidays.

Amid U.S. vaping crackdown, Juul enters China with online store openings

09.12.2019, by Reuters from SHANGHAI
U.S. e-cigarettes maker Juul Labs Inc, which faces a widening crackdown on vaping at home, has entered China, with online storefronts on e-commerce sites owned by Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group and to tap the world’s largest market of smokers.

Juul, in which tobacco giant Altria Group (NYSE:MO) owns a 35% stake, has been launching its products in international markets such as South Korea, Indonesia and Philippines. It recently raised over $750 million in an expanded funding round.

Gold Prices Slip and Remain Below $1,500 Level

Gold prices slipped on Wednesday in Asia and remained below the $1,500 level as traders awaited the upcoming European Central Bank (ECB) monthly meeting.

Gold Futures for December delivery slipped 0.1% to $1,498.35 per ounce by 12:42 AM ET (04:42 GMT) on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The outcome of the ECB’s monthly meeting is expected to have an impact on gold prices later this week, as some expect a rate reduction from the central bank as part of a broader package to stimulate the eurozone economy.

Defensives lead Europe stocks lower ahead of ECB meeting

European shares fell in early trading on Tuesday, dragged down by a sell-off in defensive sectors and on disappointing China data that stoked recession worries ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting later this week.

The pan-European stocks benchmark index STOXX 600 (STOXX) fell 0.6% by 0840 GMT with all major country indices in the red. The index was on track to post its worst session in more than two weeks.

Binance US to Get Online Soon

Prices of the major cryptocurrencies were mixed on Monday in Asia, with Bitcoin dropping further but Ethereum gaining grounds. Traders focused on the news that Binance’s US branch will launch in the coming weeks.

Bitcoin fell 1.48% to $10,307.3 by 11:48 AM ET (03:48 GMT). It experienced a slump over the weekend from above $10,800 down to this level on Monday.

Other digital coins gave a mixed performance. Ethereum gained 0.13%, XRP fell 0.32% and Litecoin rose 0.67% over the last 24 hours.

Fitch Downgrades Hong Kong as Doubts Over Governance Rise

09.06.2019, (Bloomberg)
Fitch Ratings Inc. downgraded Hong Kong as an issuer of long-term, foreign currency debt for the first time since 1995, saying that the territory’s recent political turmoil raises doubts about its governance.

The rating was lowered to AA from AA+ with a negative outlook, the company said in an emailed statement Friday. The last Fitch downgrade of Hong Kong took place before the return of the former British colony to China.

Hong Kong rebounds, China mixed on trade war hurdles

After a downbeat day in the U.S., Asian equities started Wednesday mixed, with Chinese markets flat in the face of more trade war hurdles, Japan struggling to gain direction, Australia down and Hong Kong staging something of a recovery.