Asian stocks and China’s yuan were little changed in trading Wednesday as traders await the next page in the US-China trade war -- and any fresh narratives on the Federal Reserve, which releases minutes from its last policy meeting today.
Early gains in Japanese shares fizzled, South Korean equities dipped, and Australian stocks retreated from an 11-year high as the New York Times reported the Trump administration is considering placing limits on China’s top video surveillance gear maker. Shares in Hong Kong edged up and Shanghai ones edged down.
Earlier, US stocks closed higher after the US decided to grant limited relief for consumers and carriers that do business with Huawei Technologies Co. Treasuries and the yen were flat.
Risk assets have been whipsawed in May as the world’s largest economies ratchet up both rhetoric and action on trade, with the latest phase focused on Huawei Technologies Co. and its suppliers and customers. US President Donald Trump held off on blacklisting Huawei on concerns it could disrupt China trade talks and only took action after discussions stalled, people familiar with the talks said.
Next up are the minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting. The central bank may have “slightly overdone it” by raising interest rates in December, though it’s premature to talk about a rate cut, said St. Louis Fed President James Bullard.
Elsewhere, the pound remained volatile after UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she’s prepared to offer parliament a vote on holding a second Brexit referendum. The British currency spiked higher on her remarks before giving up those gains as some key lawmakers responded with scepticism. Crude oil retreated.