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World shares fall as Huawei sanctions stir trade fears

/ 05:43 PM May 17, 2019

SINGAPORE – Global markets were mostly lower on Friday amid worries that U.S. economic sanctions on Huawei may cast a pall on trade negotiations with China.

Germany’s DAX slid 0.8% to 12,215.20 and the CAC 40 in France lost 0.5% to 5,418.70. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.5% to 7,319.61.

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In Asia, the Shanghai composite gave up 2.5% to 2,882.30. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.2% to 27,946.46 and the A-share index on the smaller market in Shenzhen lost 3.3%.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 0.9% to 21,250.09, while Australia’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.6% to 6,365.30.

The Kospi in South Korea shed 0.6% to 2,055.80.  Shares fell in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia but rallied in the Philippines.

Stocks in the U.S. were set for early losses, with the future contract for the S&P 500 index dropping 0.5% to 2,863.70 and that for the Dow also down 0.5% at 25,746.00.

An executive order by the Trump administration, aimed at banning Huawei equipment from U.S. networks, took effect on Thursday.

The order also subjects the Chinese telecommunications giant to strict export controls.

China has threatened to retaliate.

It remains to be seen how the move will affect trade negotiations, which are expected to continue.

Last Friday, trade talks broke up with no agreement after the U.S. more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%.

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“The trade issue could still get worse before it gets better, but our view remains that a deal will ultimately be reached to resolve the issue given the economic (and in Trump’s case political) damage that would be caused if a deal is not reached,” Shane Oliver of AMP Capital said in a commentary.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 15 cents to $63.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 85 cents to $62.87 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 8 cents to $72.70 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar eased to 109.60 Japanese yen from 109.85 yen late Thursday. The euro fell to $1.1173 from $1.1178. /gg

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