December 14, 2018

Canada has arrested Huawei's CFO for extradition to the US

06 December 2018, 10:51 | Austin Hogan

Huawei CFO arrested, faces extradition to U.S.

Huawei's global chief financial officer arrested in Vancouver

"We are closely watching the developments in Asia after reports that Canada has arrested the Huawei CFO facing USA extradition for allegedly violating Iran sanctions". Think what would happen if Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was arrested by Chinese authorities for unclear reasons, and you start to get a sense of the uncertainty rippling across global markets right now. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 1.7 percent to 2,605.18.

USA markets were closed on Wednesday due to the funeral of former president George HW Bush.

Stock markets tumbled on the news, fearing renewed U.S.

"The market seems right now to be focused on increased risks for a 2020 recession, " said Patrick Schaffer, Global Investment Specialist, JP Morgan Private Bank.

"The big swings of late are representative of a very jittery market", he concluded.

Traders were also waiting to hear from Vienna about what kind of cuts OPEC and other oil producers like Russian Federation could make to their output.

Ericsson ERICb.ST rose 1.5 percent, while the Paris-listed shares of Nokia NOKIA.PA added 0.1 percent.

"You can play hardball with a small country but you can't do it with the USA", he said.

Losses on the British blue-chip index were in line with European peers with falling oil and commodities prices hitting heavyweight oil and mining stocks. It later dropped another 325 points.

What's more, Meng's detention raises questions about the Trump administration's overall China strategy.

Analysts said the arrest of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei's chief financial officer in Canada had revived worries over US-China trade tensions. The Nasdaq was still slightly higher for 2018.

On the midcap index, Indivior INDV.L topped the fallers, down 11.4 percent, as investors moved out of the drugmaker ahead of its demotion to the small-cap index later this month. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company lost 2.2 percent and Hong Hai Precision was 2.7 percent lower.

Canadian authorities arrested the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies on Wednesday for possible extradition to the US.

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Wanzhou is also the daughter of Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, one of China's most prominent businessmen. It also demanded Meng's immediate release.

Investors knocked 600 points off the Dow Jones, and put the S&P 500 on track for its worst week since March.

Some element of calm was restored in Asia on Wednesday after supportive comments from Beijing - its first reaction to hopes a new trade agreement between the USA and China could be reached within a 90-day deadline.

USA markets were closed yesterday for the funeral of George HW Bush.

"Trade tensions aren't going away, " Schaffer said.

The arrest is believed to be related to alleged violations of USA sanctions though there has been no official statement from Washington. Boeing slumped 6.3 per cent to US$320.96.

"Investors are back in risk-off mode with markets falling in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and across Asia".

USA stock futures and Asian shares tumbled as news of the arrest heightened the sense a major collision was brewing between the world's two largest economic powers, not just over tariffs but also over technological hegemony.

OPEC countries gathered in Vienna Thursday to find a way to support the falling price of oil.

"We're looking for a sufficient cut to balance the market, equally distributed between countries", said Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, before the meeting.

Either way, China is nearly certain to view Meng's arrest as a major escalation in the trade war that will foment fears of a wider Cold War between the world's biggest economies.

Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, tumbled 4.3%, while US-centric WTI crude is off 4.2%.

CURRENCY: The dollar slipped to 112.69 yen from 113.20 yen.

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