World Economy

World Shares Mixed as Fears of US Tariffs Weigh

World Shares Mixed as Fears of US Tariffs WeighWorld Shares Mixed as Fears of US Tariffs Weigh

Global markets were mixed on Friday as traders mulled over the effects of possible US tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods in a simmering trade dispute.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 added 0.1% to 5,250.38, while the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares gave up 0.2% to 7,303.17. Germany’s DAX fell 0.1% to 11,945.61, after the country’s trade surplus dipped to four-year low. US indexes are set for a subdued open. Dow futures dropped 0.1% to 25,991.00. The broader S&P 500 futures shed 0.1% to 2,877.00, AP reported.

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.8% to 22,307.06 and the Kospi in South Korea dropped 0.3% to 2,281.58. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which has dropped 18% since its peak in late January, was almost flat at 26,973.47. The Shanghai Composite index was 0.4% higher at 2,702.30. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.3% to 6,143.80. Shares were lower in Taiwan and most of Southeast Asia.

The Trump administration may impose tariffs of up to 25% on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, after a public comment period ended Thursday. The imports are equal to nearly 40% of all the goods China sold the US last year. Doing so would escalate a confrontation between the world’s two biggest economies and likely squeeze US companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires.

Cisco Systems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co. as well as other prominent technology companies and retailers made a last-minute push to convince President Donald Trump to reverse course on a plan to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

As of Thursday midnight US time, Friday midday in Beijing, the White House had made no announcement on its intentions.

China has said that it is ready to retaliate with “necessary countermeasures” if Trump goes ahead with the tariff hike. Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday that the country is confident it can maintain “steady and healthy” economic growth.

It has announced a $60 billion list of American products targeted for retaliation. The Chinese government has said it would help local and even foreign businesses in the country mitigate the effects of the trade dispute.

Benchmark US crude added 19 cents to $67.96 a barrel. The contract dropped 1.4% to settle at $67.77 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 15 cents to $76.65 a barrel. It lost 1% to $76.50 a barrel in London on Thursday.

The dollar fell to 110.74 yen from 110.83 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.164 from $1.162.

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