U.S. equities fell Thursday — putting the main stock index in negative territory for the year — after Canadian authorities arrested the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei at the request of U.S. authorities.
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The arrest Wednesday in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the United States, raises the stakes for, and possibly threatens, the recently restarted U.S.-China trade talks.
The specific charge or charges against the 46-year-old daughter of Huawei’s founder were not disclosed, but U.S. officials have been investigating the company for possibly violating American trade sanctions against Iran.
Investors were rattled. The intraday decline in the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average put the widely watched index in negative territory for 2018.
Meanwhile, oil prices extended their losses despite OPEC members agreeing Thursday to cut oil output — although it’s unclear by how much.
West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude oil, fell nearly 3 percent to $51.41 per barrel on Thursday.
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Global stocks also fell. Asian stocks closed down. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was off 1.91 percent, while the Hang Seng ended off 1.19 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite settled down 1.68 percent.
European bourses were also lower. Britain’s FTSE 100 was 2.58 percent lower, France’s CAC 40 was off 2.40 percent and Germany’s Dax was falling 2.55 percent.