US President Donald Trump said on Monday that his administration was planning to provide about $15 billion in aid to help US farmers whose products may be targeted with tariffs by China in a deepening trade war.
Contracts on the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq swung between gains and losses, while the Stoxx Europe 600 edged lower as drops in carmakers offset gains in construction companies. Japan's Nikkei 225 index gave up 0.7% and South Korea's Kospi fell 1.4%.
"Investors are looking for opportunities to get into this market, and so far in 2019 there really haven't been any "buy the dip" opportunities other than last week", Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence, said by phone.
Oil prices moved downward 82 cents to $60.84 US a barrel. The S&P 500 is up 0.2% to 2,819.
The tech sector led losses in the first half hour of trade, dropping 2.49 per cent.
In the meantime, any further hints of resolution on the trade dispute - or tweet storms - could drive markets into their next swing. Those factors helped the S&P 500 rocket to its best start to a year in decades. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite index fell 1.2%. "Its stock markets could sustain its recovery if the government indicates it will continue to keep supporting the economy", Hirayama at SMBC Nikko Securities said. In company news, shares of Ralph Lauren Corp. fell 1.1% even after the clothing retailer's earnings and revenues beat Wall Street expectations.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move.
The sharp stock-market selloff of recent days is confronting investors with a quandary long avoided during the 10-year-old bull market: Riskier assets suddenly look very risky.
Adding to policy uncertainty, Iran said Wednesday with portions of a 2015 nuclear deal it signed with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation.
European and USA futures are also in the black, with risk appetite finding some support from Trump's comments that he expects trade negotiations to be successful. As it is, the U.S. remain in preparation for further tariffs for implementation.
Treasuries pared gains after the two-year yield touched the lowest level since February 2018, while the 10-year rate traded around 2.38%. Most economists argue tariffs lead to higher costs for American consumers and companies while also hitting growth overseas, a toxic mix for the U.S. that could even tip it into recession. Shares in Webster (ASX:WBA) closed 0.7 per cent lower at $1.52.
Elsewhere in the market, generic drug developers are sinking after many of them were accused of artificially inflating and manipulating prices. Oil retreated and gold rose. USA crude dropped 1% to settle at $61.04 per barrel.
Silver slipped 0.1% to $14.78 per ounce and copper rose 2% to $2.72 per pound.
Sydney and Singapore each dropped 0.9 per cent, with Manila and Jakarta both down 1.4 per cent.
The dollar fell to 109.34 Japanese yen from 109.90 yen on Friday.