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Global markets mixed on uncertainty about US-China trade war

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Via AP Business

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mixed Tuesday as investors seemed slightly more hopeful again about the potential for progress in the costly trade war between the U.S. and China.

Wall Street was set to open with modest gains after gains on Monday, which was prompted by President Donald Trump’s claim that his negotiators had received encouraging calls from China on Sunday. China’s foreign ministry denied knowledge of any such calls.

“It remains all about trade as President Donald Trump’s comments on the matter had once again been the primary driver for markets at the start of the week. Even though the sentiment had taken a positive turn on the latest update, uncertainty nevertheless persists to warrant a more cautious stance,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

France’s CAC 40 bounced back from early losses and was up 0.3% in midday trading at 5,367. Germany’s DAX also reversed course from early losses to pick up 0.5% at 11,715. Britain’s FTSE 100 dipped about 0.1% to 7,087.

On Wall Street, Dow futures were up 0.1% to 25,982. S&P 500 futures also rose 0.1% at 2,888.

The major U.S. indexes are each on track for losses of 3% or more in August in what has been a volatile month for the market as investors try to gauge whether trade conflicts and slowing economies around the world will drag the U.S. into a recession.

Market watchers are increasingly cautious, with UBS bank, the largest wealth manager in the world, on Tuesday recommending its customers to reduce their exposure to stocks — the first time it has done so since the depths of the eurozone debt crisis in 2012.

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In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose nearly 1.0% to finish at 20,456.08. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5% to 6,471.20, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.4% to 1,924.60. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.3% to 25,613.07. The Shanghai Composite added 1.4% to 2,902.19.

On Friday, China announced new tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods. Trump responded angrily on Twitter, at one point saying he “hereby ordered” U.S. companies with operations in China to consider moving them to other countries, including the U.S.

Analysts say uncertainties are bound to remain on global markets as long as Trump continues to send conflicting messages.

“The bigger picture is that deep-seated issues are unlikely to be resolved on the flick of a switch or tweet,” said a report from the Asia & Oceania Treasury Department of Mizuho Bank.

Trump later announced the U.S. would increase existing tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods to 30% from 25%, and that new tariffs on another $300 billion of imports would be 15% instead of 10%.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil rose 67 cents to $54.31 a barrel. It fell 53 cents to settle at $53.64 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 56 cents to $59.26 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 105.73 Japanese yen from 105.88 yen on Monday. The euro weakened to $1.1107 from $1.1118.


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