SYDNEY- Asian share markets flatlined as uncertainty over Sino-US trade talks and political strife in Hong Kong dogged sentiment, while safe-haven bonds eked out a bounce.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up a slight 0.04 percent, following a sharp 1.2 percent pullback on Monday.
Japan’s Nikkei dithered either side of flat, while Shanghai blue chips eased 0.1 percent. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 also dipped 0.1 percent, as did EUROSTOXX 50 futures.
Caution ruled ahead of a speech by US President Donald Trump to the Economic Club of New York later in the day in case there was any new word on the Sino-US Phase one trade deal.
Trump wrongfooted markets over the weekend when he said there had been incorrect reporting about US willingness to lift tariffs on China.
On a more positive note, Politico reported Trump would announce this week that he is delaying a decision on whether to slap tariffs on imported European Union autos for another six months.
Investors were anxious about the situation in Hong Kong after a violent escalation of protests knocked nearly 2 percent off Asia-exposed banks HSBC and StanChart.
Riot police were deployed at metro stations across the territory and large queues were forming at railway platforms as commuters struggled to get to work.
A partial holiday in the United States closed the Treasury market on Monday and made for a quiet session on Wall Street. The Dow ended up 0.04 percent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.20 percent and the Nasdaq 0.13 percent.
Shares of Boeing Co jumped 4.5 percent after saying it expected US regulators to approve the return to commercial service of its grounded 737 MAX jet in the coming weeks, and expects commercial service to resume in January.
Treasuries were in demand when trading resumed in Asia, with yields on 10-year notes dropping to 1.918 percent and away from last week’s three-month top of 1.97 percent. – Reuters