World Bulletin / News Desk
Trade war worries again permeated markets across Asia on Thursday, with mixed signals from the White House fuelling uncertainty, but energy firms kicked higher thanks to another surge in oil prices.
Dealers are struggling to get a handle on the situation owing to confusion over Donald Trump's trade strategy.
The president seemed to back off a plan to impose tough new restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States, soothing concerns about a conflagration between the world's top economies.
But later his economic advisor and trade hawk Larry Kudlow warned that stern measures were still being contemplated.
"If the administration doesn't understand what the president is trying to achieve from his trade policy, that is hardly a sign of confidence for investors," said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.
"It would be entirely natural if investors were a bit confused as indeed confusion reigns supreme."
Equity markets fluctuated through the day and Tokyo ended slightly lower, while Shanghai closed 0.9 percent down but Hong Kong added 0.5 percent.
Seoul and Manila both fell more than one percent, while there were also losses in Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok and Jakarta. Sydney rose slightly 0.3 percent.
In early European trade London fell 0.5 percent, Paris shed 0.4 percent and Frankfurt was 0.6 percent off.
With no sign of the trade spat easing any time soon there are growing concerns about the impact on the Chinese economy, with growth already showing signs of slowing and stocks plunging 22 percent since its 2018 peak in January.
The yuan is also at its weakest level against the dollar since December, having endured one of its worst runs since its mid-2015 devaluation that sparked a global market meltdown.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Haziran 2018, 11:31