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Global stock markets mostly lower on trade tensions

Published : Thursday, 13 September, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 36

LONDON, Sept 12: Stock markets mostly fell on Wednesday with investors fearing an escalation in the US-China trade row after Beijing said it planned to impose anti-dumping sanctions worth billions of dollars on Washington.
London followed Asia lower, with the capital's benchmark FTSE 100 index and pound both under pressure as the UK and EU appeared no closer to agreeing a Brexit divorce deal.
Eurozone stock indices rose however on the eve of the European Central Bank's regular policy meeting.
"Across the asset classes, global equities are mostly seeing red as investors' assess the outlook for global growth amidst heightened trade tensions," noted Oanda analyst Dean Popplewell.
"Oil prices are well supported as dealers try to get a handle on Hurricane Florence potential impact" on crude supplies, he added.
The new turn in the US-China spat meanwhile adds to a sense of pessimism across trading floors in recent weeks as the world's top two economic powers stand on the cusp of an all-out trade war that observers fear could batter the global economy.
It comes as dealers struggle to deal with a brewing emerging-market financial crisis and overshadows hopeful noises from Canada that a revised NAFTA trade deal between themselves and the US is "imminently possible".
China on Tuesday said it would ask the World Trade Organization next week for permission to impose more than $7 billion in sanctions annually on the United States over anti-dumping practices. The WTO will discuss the issue on September 21.
The case dates back to December 2013, when China took issue with the way Washington assesses whether exports have been "dumped" at unfairly low prices onto the US market.
Beijing's call comes after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all goods coming from China, which he says is using unfair trade practices that are harming American jobs.    -AFP

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