Global stocks lower amid uncertainty over U.S.-China trade

Joe McDonald, The Associated Press
Published Friday, November 8, 2019 12:51AM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 8, 2019 4:11AM EST

BEIJING — Global stock markets mostly declined Friday amid uncertainty about a possible U.S.-Chinese agreement to roll back tariffs in their trade war.

Tokyo rose after Beijing said Thursday the two sides agreed to the step if they make progress on an interim deal. But London and Frankfurt opened lower and Shanghai and Hong Kong declined on amid concern about possible opposition within the White House.

If the deal pans out, “it will be an emphatic upside surprise for the global economy,” said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report.

However, “we cannot rule out a gap” between the U.S. and Chinese positions, Varathan warned. And he said the Federal Reserve might turn “less dovish” if the deal “takes off with more promise than anticipated” and tariffs fall, easing pressure on U.S. economic growth.

In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3% to 7,382.73 and Germany’s DAX retreated 0.3% to 13,248.24. France’s CAC 40 shed 0.3% to 5,870.41.

On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.1%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 2,964.18 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tumbled 0.7% to 27,651.14. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.3% to 23,391.87.

Seoul’s Kospi sank 0.3% to 2,137.23 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was off 2 points at 6,724.10. New Zealand gained while Taiwan and Singapore declined.

On Thursday, the S&P gained 0.3% to a record. The Dow climbed 0.7%, also to a record. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%.

Encouraging reports on the U.S. economy and corporate profits have helped drive stocks back to record heights. The job market is strong, and the Fed has cut interest rates three times.

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