Stocks drop as falling U.S. yields, trade worries hit mood

Asia shares ease as doubts emerge over Sino-US trade war truce

This Market Indicator That Frequently Signals a Recession Just Flashed Red

Investors are increasingly concerned, however, by a flattening of the spread between two- and 10-year Treasurys, a more fundamental benchmark of market health.

Adding to worries over the outlook for the global economy, the yield curve between US three-year and five-year notes, and between two-year and five-year paper inverted on Monday - the first parts of the Treasury yield curve to invert since the financial crisis, excluding very short-dated debt. "That said, it is true that the economic outlook is murkier than before", said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.8 percent and South Korea's KOSPI shed 0.5 percent.

As doubts grew over whether the two sides can resolve their differences, China said on Wednesday it was confident that it can clinch a trade deal with Washington within the 90-day negotiating window that the two sides agreed.

The spread between the two-year and 10-year Treasury yields was at its flattest level in more than a decade and edging closer to an inversion, when long rates fall below short rates.

The dollar was 0.77 percent lower against the Japanese yen, which tends to benefit during geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation.

"As soon as investors digested the information from the discussions they focused on the uncertainties and lack of details", said Ryan Nauman, market strategist, Informa Financial Intelligence, Zephyr Cove, Nevada. China has said nothing about the commitment to remove auto tariffs flagged by the US, nor did its statement mention the 90-day timeline for talks the Americans have specified.

"If it is, we will get it done", Trump wrote in a Twitter post. "But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man". And the reason has something to do with an occurrence that is not exactly in the everyday investor's lexicon: an inverted yield curve.

World stocks tumbled to one-week lows on Wednesday, as declines by long-dated USA bond yields and a renewal of trade concerns stoked fears of a downturn in the world's biggest economy, the United States.

As with last Wednesday's investor excitement over suggestions of a looming pause in Fed tightening, the risk is the cheer over a trade ceasefire becomes a one-day wonder. Meanwhile, the Fed has pushed short-term interest rates up, bringing them closer to-and now, in some cases, above-longer-term yields.

The dollar stumbled last week after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday said USA rates were nearing neutral levels, which markets interpreted as signaling a slowdown in rate hikes.

Sterling briefly drooped to a 17-month low on the day, before recovering ground to trade little-changed, in a volatile session dominated by Brexit-related headlines.

Oil prices pared some gains as fears flared that demand would stall due to a trade war between the U.S. and China, and that Russian Federation remained a stumbling block to a deal to cut global crude supply.

Brent crude oil settled at $62.08 per barrel, or jumped up 0.63 percent. U.S. light crude was last up 30 cents at $53.25.

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