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|11 July, 2018

Global markets drop on likely increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods

Duties on a range of Chinese goods imported into the U.S. took effect on Friday

The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, in Washington, D.C.,U.S., January 18, 2011. Image for illustrative purposes only.

The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, in Washington, D.C.,U.S., January 18, 2011. Image for illustrative purposes only.

REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

The United States and China slapped tariffs on $34 billion worth of each others’ goods at the end of last week.

Duties on a range of Chinese goods imported into the U.S. took effect on Friday and were immediately countered by measures from China.

U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to publish this week a list of $200 billion in additional Chinese products to be hit with tariffs, an administration official said, adding that a final decision had not been made yet, according to a Reuters report.

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Global markets

Asian shares dropped on Wednesday as news of likely additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods hit sentiment in Asia.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.5 percent, after gaining in the last two sessions.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 2.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index slumped 2.4 percent.

“The markets still remain sensitive to the trade-related theme, which is something investors have to take into account for the long term,” Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo, told Reuters.

“At the same time, the trade dispute can easily be blamed for a variety of ills. But it could mask over factors that could also weigh on equities in the longer run, such as tighter monetary policies led by the United States.”

Middle East markets

Most stock markets in the Middle East rose on Tuesday as higher oil prices and expectations of strong corporate earnings boosted earnings.

Qatar’s index added 1.4 percent, its highest since January 30 this year. The gains were fuelled by a 2.2 percent gain in Qatar National Bank and a 2.1 percent rise in Industries Qatar.

QNB Financial Services said in a note it estimates banks, under its coverage, are expected to post an annual increase of 18.4 percent in earnings during the second quarter, largely due to a base effect stemming from Qatar's Commercial Bank, according to a Reuters report.

The Saudi index rose 1.1 percent, mainly on the back of petrochemical shares which were boosted by higher oil prices.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical was up almost one percent at 16.88 riyals. Saudi Basic Industries was up nearly 1 percent.

Dubai’s index added 0.7 percent and Abu Dhabi’s index added 1.1 percent, as property stocks boosted both markets. Aldar Properties rose 2.4 percent and First Abu Dhabi Bank climbed 1.6 percent.

Egypt’s index added 0.8 percent, Kuwait’s index rose 1.1 percent, while Bahrain’s index closed flat and Oman’s index was down 0.4 percent.

Oil prices

Oil prices fell on Wednesday amid trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Brent crude futures were down 75 cents, or 1 percent, at $78.11 a barrel by 0308 GMT, having fallen as low as $77.60.

U.S. crude was down 55 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $73.56.

Currencies

The dollar index edged up early on Wednesday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was 0.1 percent higher at 94.209.

Precious metals

Gold prices edged lower on a firmer dollar.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,251.74 an ounce at 0102 GMT.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery were down 0.3 percent at $1,251.20 an ounce.

(Writing Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)
(gerard.aoun@thomsonreuters.com)

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