Asian investors battled to finish a volatile week with some stability Friday as they weigh the outlook for China-US trade talks and uncertainty in oil markets, while looking ahead to the release of key US jobs data.
After the furious selling of the past two days, there was some optimism after a report said the Federal Reserve could slow down its pace of interest rate hikes next year, providing some much-needed relief to under-pressure dealers.
The general mood across trading floors is of unease, just days after the euphoria of Donald Trump's G20 tariffs ceasefire deal with China's Xi Jinping that put the row off for 90 days while they try to resolve the crisis.
No sooner had the rally from that announcement run its course than questions began to be raised about the details and whether the world's top two economies could actually resolve their differences.
That was compounded by news that a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei had been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the US over allegations the firm had broken sanctions linked to Iran.
China on Thursday appeared to try to ease concerns by saying it would "immediately" implement measures agreed under the truce, while Trump later sent a tweet highlighting progress.
"Statement from China: 'The teams of both sides are now having smooth communications and good cooperation with each other. We are full of confidence that an agreement can be reached within the next 90 days.' I agree!," he wrote.
Providing some support were hopes the Fed will not hike borrowing costs as much as previously expected over the next year.
The prospect of rates continuing to rise for some time -- making it more expensive to borrow to invest -- has been a major reason for selling on world markets this year.
"But when you laminate trade war issues with observed dovish shifts from major central banks, it merely adds a whole new level of unwanted confusion entering year-end."
He added: "I'm trying to suggest... we were going through a market-driven event rather than a meaningful shift to the dark economic side that had all the doom and 'gloomers' coming out of their caves this week."
Oil prices extended their losses on worries that a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers will not see a hoped-for cut in output.
Markets have been spooked after the cartel called off a planned news conference Thursday that was expected to see a reduction announced, while Saudi Arabia oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said he was "not confident".
Prices are now only slightly above last week's levels, before a Monday-Tuesday rally sparked by comments from President Vladimir Putin that Russia and the Saudis had agreed to shut the taps in light of a production glut.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)