European stocks wobble on first US-China trade war shots

Investors broadly took to the sidelines with around $34 billion in US tariffs on Chinese goods set to be unveiled in the middle of the Asian trading session

European stock markets wobbled Friday as China and the United States fired the first shots in a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

In early afternoon deals, London stocks shed 0.2 percent while Frankfurt won 0.1 percent and Paris turned flat.

The euro rose against the dollar, while oil prices fell.

US President Donald Trump on Friday rolled out tariffs on $34 billion (29 billion euros) of Chinese goods in what Beijing called the “largest trade war” in economic history.

China added it had already imposed retaliatory measures on US goods without immediately providing precise details.

“Stocks are mixed… despite the heightened trade tensions between the US and China,” said CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden.

Analysts noted that the news had been expected for weeks, leaving traders to buy back into the market.

Tokyo stocks led the gains in Asia, closing 1.1 percent higher, with markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong up by around half a percentage point.

Li Daxiao, analyst at Yingda Securities, said news of the tariffs was already priced in.

“After the US tariffs announcement, the negative news finally came out and has already been digested over recent weeks. Therefore investors are not in as much of a panic as before, and the market sentiment will reverse,” said Li.

Stanley Chik, from Bright Smart Securities International in Hong Kong, said that “the impact of tariffs on economic growth appears limited for now, giving the market a breathing

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