August 28, 2019: Asian markets swung Wednesday, gripped by uncertainty over the China-US trade talks, with warnings that Donald Trump's unpredictability could be harming the chances of an eventual agreement.
Trading has been volatile this week after the president's weekend outburst against Beijing and announcement of more tariffs on $550 billion of goods was followed Monday by him saying the two sides had spoken by phone and negotiations would resume soon.
However, China has not confirmed such calls had taken place, while media in the country has played down the chances of more talks and the leadership's need for a deal.
The developments are the latest in a series of moves by the White House that have seen it slam China and then hold out an olive branch.
But Stephen Innes at Valour Markets said: “There remains a high degree of scepticism regarding the sincerity of Trump's comments or even if the Chinese are willing to recommence negotiations.”
He pointed out that an inflammatory tweet on Friday in which Trump labelled Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell and China's Xi Jinping enemies of the US had resonated among traders.
“Risk-off remains in vogue as trade disputes continue to flare, suggesting any risk assets recovery will remain extremely fragile.”
The editor of the state-run Global Times said in a tweet that Beijing was “not putting so much emphasis on trade talks”, instead focusing on boosting the economy, and it was becoming tougher for the US to apply pressure.