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Global stocks rise despite looming trade war

Global stocks rise despite looming trade war

LONDON: World stocks climbed Wednesday as investors fished for bargains, but anxiety lingered over simmering trade tensions between China and the United States, dealers said.

London and Frankfurt were higher in mid-afternoon deals, mirroring earlier gains in Asia, while Paris eased slightly.

Wall Street was also a touch firmer at the opening bell as investors appeared to be tiring of trade war fears.

“US stocks are recovering, along with markets in Asia and Europe, with pressures from the escalated trade tensions between the U.S. and China appearing to pause,” said Charles Schwab analysts.

But analysts warned that fresh retaliatory moves could send markets south again.

Equities had tanked Tuesday on rising fears of a trade war after US President Donald Trump threatened fresh tariffs on Chinese imports and Beijing warned of countermeasures.

“The markets have been trading on the same piece of general trade war news for a while, as a result selling exhaustion has started to set in,” said London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler.

“Any fresh news of retaliation could see traders snatch risk back off the table quickly,” he warned.

– New twist –

In a new twist, a top EU official revealed that Brussels will implement Friday a raft of retaliatory tariffs against metals duties imposed by Trump.

From blue jeans to motorbikes and whiskey, the EU’s hit-list of products targeted for tariffs with the US reads like a series of emblematic American exports.

Brussels first drew up the list in March when Trump initially floated the 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium, which also target Canada, Mexico and other close allies.

Canada and Mexico have also announced their own countermeasures.

Beijing warned it would retaliate in kind to Trump’s threat of tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods, amounting to much of its exports to the US.

The standoff follows weeks of fruitless talks between the world’s two biggest economies, with the White House accusing China of a string of unfair practices including cyber-theft and forced technology transfers that are hurting American jobs and companies.

– OPEC focus –

Eyes are turning to OPEC’s crucial meeting as Saudi Arabia pushes, along with non-member Russia, to ease an output ceiling that has supported oil prices for 18 months.

The two major producers are facing stiff opposition at the June 22-23 gathering from nations that have benefited from the resulting higher revenues.

“It does seem like an increase (in output) is coming,” said analyst Greg McKenna at AxiTrader. “The question is, can such a move be achieved in order to balance the interests of OPEC’s customers like the US and India while still holding the cartel together as a functioning group?”

– Key figures around 1335 GMT –

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.9 percent at 7,670.30 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.1 percent at 12,685.64

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 5,384.07

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,445.53

New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.2 percent at 24,754.03

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 percent at 22,555.43 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.8 percent at 29,696.17 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.3 percent at 2,915.73 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1568 from $1.1590 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3188 from $1.3174

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.08 yen from 110.06 yen

Oil – Brent Crude: UP 53 cents at $75.61 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 95 cents at $65.85

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2018

Source: Brecorder

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