AP Photo/Andy Wong

Morning Markets: Global stocks sink on trade worries, oil mixed

June 25, 2018 - 7:58 am
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By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets sank Monday and oil prices were mixed amid simmering worries about U.S.-Chinese trade tensions.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX fell 1.3 percent to 12,414 and London's FTSE 100 gave up 1.4 percent to 7,575. France's CAC 40 shed 0.8 percent to 5,343. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.7 percent and that for the Standard & Poor's 500 index was off 0.5 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.1 percent to 2,859.34 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.3 percent to 28,961.39. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.8 percent to 22,338.15 and Seoul's Kospi was flat at 2,357.88. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.2 percent to 6,210.40 and India's Sensex retreated 0.3 percent to 35,600.41. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined while New Zealand was unchanged.

US-CHINA TENSIONS: The Wall Street Journal reported the Trump administration plans to impose curbs on Chinese investment in American technology companies and high-tech exports to China. The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said the initiatives were aimed at preventing Beijing from moving ahead with plans to develop global competitors in technologies including biotech and electric vehicles. That follows President Donald Trump's threat to hike tariffs on Chinese imports worth up to $450 billion over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. Meanwhile, the impact of new tariffs was made clear by Harley-Davidson, which said it would move some production out of the U.S. because of tariffs the EU has imposed in retaliation for U.S. duties on steel and aluminum.

CHINA LENDING: Beijing freed up about $100 billion for additional bank lending in a move financial analysts said might help reassure investors rattled by trade tensions with Washington. The cut in the amount of money banks are required to hold in reserve, the second this year, is one of a series forecasters had expected before the dispute over China's trade surplus and technology policy erupted. The central bank said the move is aimed at facilitating debt-for-equity swaps meant to help clear away a backlog of nonperforming bank loans owed by state companies.

ANALYST'S TAKE: Jingyi Pan of IG says that stock markets are "shrouded in the gloom of trade tensions. China's latest reserve ratio reduction, while expected, serves as a counterbalance to the soft sentiment."

WEEK AHEAD: The United States is due to report quarterly economic growth on Thursday. On Friday, Japan and South Korea report monthly factory output and the European Union releases inflation figures.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 33 cents to $68.91 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange amid questions over OPEC's ability to ramp up production, as it said it would last week. The contract jumped $3.04 to $$68.58 on Friday, when OPEC made its announcement. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped $1.06 to $74.49 per barrel in London. It gained $2.52 the previous session to close at $75.32.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.58 yen from Friday's 109.97 yen. The euro gained to $1.1697 from $1.1657.

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