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The short video in English with Chinese subtitles seems created to undermine support for the trade dispute from USA farmers, key supporters of President Donald Trump, by highlighting the damage tariffs could have on American soybean exports.

A so-far-restrained response from China has helped stabilise sentiments toward the end of the week, but we remain cautious on the local market assets of countries that are exposed to these escalating trade tensions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down less than 0.1 percent at 25,058.06.

Its decline provides "a significant offset to the loss in export competitiveness for Chinese exporters due to higher U.S. tariffs", Rajiv Biswas, chief Asia economist with IHS Markit, told AFP. They will also be looking out for more United States corporate earnings, such as those from tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook. Given the strength of the United States economy, the Federal Reserve is expected to keep raising interest rates. But it's something investors will have to think about.

"We think the Fed has independence and they'll continue to do the right thing", he said. The Nasdaq composite gave up 5.10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,820.20.

Europe's bond yields climbed after a Reuters report that the BoJ was discussing modifying its huge easing programme sent Japan's 10-year bond yield to a six-month high. The yield on the 2-year Treasury note rose to 2.60 percent from 2.59 percent.

Benchmark 10-year US notes last fell 12/32 in price to yield 2.8894 percent, from 2.847 percent late on Thursday.


The dollar dropped sharply, to 111.52 yen from 112.46 yen.

EARNINGS: Microsoft continued to set records after its fiscal fourth-quarter results topped Wall Street forecasts and its cloud computing division continued to grow. The yuan "will be more stable, as the USA could interpret further depreciation as a form of retaliation", they said, sticking with a three-month forecast of 6.7 per dollar. The British pound strengthened 0.9 percent to $1.3136.

US President Donald Trump says he is ready to impose tariffs on an additional US$500 billion (S$684 billion) of imports from China, threatening to escalate the current trade clash with the Asian nation. The Trump administration is considering tariffs on another $200 billion in goods.

Instead, many analysts say they expect the Trump administration to impose more tariffs on China and potentially other key US trading partners. There is already pushback in the US from businesses that will take a hit in an escalating trade war.

The dollar is Nigeria's main trade currency.

The dollar also has risen against a number of world currencies, fuelled in part by the Federal Reserve's recent rate hike, which makes investing in the United States more attractive and thus tends to encourage capital to flow from overseas markets into U.S. assets. China, conversely, has always been faulted for keeping its currency low, though it has not been officially labeled a manipulator by the U.S. Treasury Department.

US crude rose 0.81 percent to $70.02 per barrel and Brent was last at $73.15, up 0.79 percent on the day. It was last up 0.2 percent at $1.135. The US dollar lost to 0.9926 Swiss franc from 0.9990 Swiss franc, and it went down to 1.3127 Canadian dollars from 1.3252 Canadian dollars.


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