Asian stocks flat as investors eye G20

Equity markets were muted on Monday, with investors looking ahead to the G20 summit in Osaka at the end of the week, with the meeting seen as a potential turning point for global trade tensions.

After a lacklustre run in Asia, futures trade expected more of the same in Europe, calling the Xetra Dax 30 down 0.2 per cent, with London’s FTSE 100 expected to tick up 0.1 per cent.

There was also further demand for US government debt — which has rallied amid demand for its relative safety, pushing yields lower — as concern for the outlook for growth has tracked the move back toward looser monetary policy at global central banks. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries fell 1.9 basis points to 2.047 per cent.

Brent crude, the international oil marker, ticked up 0.5 per cent amid unfolding geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran. S&P 500 futures were pointing to gains of about 0.3 per cent when Wall Street opens later on Monday.

US President Donald Trump is set to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20, which begins on Friday. The talks will come amid a looming threat by Mr Trump to slap tariffs on another $300bn in Chinese goods if Washington and Beijing can’t come to terms on a trade deal.

Gold, which touched six-year highs last week, was again boosted by the fraught geopolitics int he Middle East. It was up 0.5 per cent on Monday at $1.404.87, taking it back toward Friday’s intraday peak of $1,410.78, a level last touched in 2013.

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Markets Briefing is a concise look at global markets, updated throughout the trading day by Financial Times journalists in Hong Kong, New York and London. Feedback? Write in the comments below or send us an email.

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