Asian shares stumbled on Tuesday and the dollar hovered near two-week lows as prospects for a long-awaited Sino-U.S. trade deal were dealt another blow after the United States levelled sweeping criminal charges against China's telecom giant Huawei.
The mood was expected to be subdued elsewhere with spreadbetters suggesting a tentative start for Europe while futures for the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq were each off 0.2 percent. In Asia, the losses were led by Australia and New Zealand, with their benchmark indices down 0.5 percent and 1.2 percent respectively. Despite the late uptick in share prices, the mood was still gloomy after the U.S. Justice Department unsealed indictments against China's top telecom equipment maker, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, accusing it of bank and wire fraud to evade Iran sanctions and conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc.
In main currencies, regarding EUR/USD, the dismal mood was triggered by a report indicating that Chinese industrial earnings shrank for a second consecutive month in December, adding to the ruling fears of an economic slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Regarding GBP/USD, The UK is running against the clock to clinch a Brexit deal, with the UK Parliament scheduled to meet again this today, to discover a series of amendments proposed by lawmakers, in an attempt to reach a satisfactory deal.
In commodities, Gold futures hovered near seven-month highs at $1,302.2 per ounce. Spot gold was last at 1,304.19 after breaking above a key psychological barrier of $1,300 an ounce on Friday. Oil bounced after hefty overnight losses. U.S. crude was last up 35 cents at $52.34 a barrel while Brent gained 37 cents to $60.30.
For today as per the economic calendar, the most significant news refer to CB Consumer Confidence (US).