European Shares To Drift Lower As US Steps Up China Trade Spat

European stocks may succumb to selling pressure on Wednesday after the United States announced it would slap 10 percent tariffs on an extra 200 billion worth of Chinese imports in an escalating trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies.

Investors are now bracing for retaliation from Beijing. “The outburst of large-scale mutual levying of tariffs will inevitably destroy Sino-U.S. trade,” assistant minister of commerce Li Chenggang told a forum in Beijing.

Asian markets are broadly lower, with benchmark indexes in China, Hong Kong and Japan falling 1-2 percent.

U.S. Treasuries rose and the dollar firmed up against the yuan while oil prices fell after the U.S. said it would consider requests from some countries to be exempted from Iranian sanctions.

Overnight, U.S. stocks closed higher for the fourth day running as strong quarterly results from snack food and beverage giant PepsiCo helped investors shrug off trade concerns.

The Dow climbed 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.4 percent to reach its best closing level in five months while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished marginally higher.

European markets rose for a sixth day on Tuesday as investors looked forward to a strong quarterly earnings season.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.4 percent. The German DAX rose half a percent, France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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