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World shares fall back as rally from US tariffs delay fades

/ 06:49 PM February 26, 2019

A man and a woman walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Most Asian share benchmarks are lower as a rally spurred by the Trump administration’s decision to hold off on increasing tariffs on imported Chinese goods fades. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BANGKOK – Shares declined Tuesday, backtracking from Monday’s rally spurred by news that President Donald Trump had pushed back a deadline for raising tariffs on imports from China to allow time for more negotiations.

Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.9 percent in early trading to 7,121.64 after Prime Minister Theresa May returned from a seemingly unproductive meeting with European Union leaders Monday to a growing attempt by British lawmakers to stop her from taking Britain out of the EU on March 29 without a divorce deal.

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The CAC 40 in France fell 0.3 percent to 5,216.78 and Germany’s DAX dropped 0.5 percent to 11,452.41.

Wall Street looked set for a downbeat start. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.3 percent at 26,017.00 and that for the S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to 2,789.70.

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In Asia, the Shanghai Composite retreated from its early advance, losing 0.7 percent on Tuesday to 2,941.52 as traders cashed in recent gains. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.4 percent to 21,449.39 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 0.7 percent to 28,772.06.

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 lost 0.9 percent to 6,128.40 as falling prices for oil and other commodities hit energy companies.

Tuesday’s declines reflected waning confidence in negotiations between the U.S. and China over Washington’s complaints that Beijing steals technology or pressures companies to hand it over.

The Trump administration’s decision to hold off on a March 2 increase in punitive duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese spurred buying Monday.

But many questions remain about the prospects for a deal that would unwind the tariffs already slapped by both sides on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.

Trump’s conflicting comments on the status of the talks have added to the uncertainty, said Jingyi Pan of IG.

“As it is, we continue to view the trade matter through an opaque screen and make assumptions from the shadows of President Donald Trump,” Pan said in a commentary.

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ELSEWHERE IN ASIA: South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.3 percent and India’s Sensex fell 0.2 percent amid mounting tensions with neighboring Pakistan. Shares were lower in Southeast Asia.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil gave up 8 cents to $55.40 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 3.1 percent to settle at $55.48 a barrel in New York after Trump criticized rising oil prices in an early morning tweet. Brent crude rebounded, gaining 14 cents to $64.90 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.86 yen from 111.04 yen on Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1359 from $1.1356. /gsg

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