Global shares were mixed Wednesday amid growing tensions between the U.S. and the European Union and a dim forecast on global economic growth.
France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4% in early trading to 5,455.98, while Germany‘s DAX gained 0.5% to 11,907.95. Britain’s FTSE 100 was little changed but slightly lower at 7,420.13. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures up 0.1% at 26,193. S&P 500 futures were up 0.2% at 2,887.30.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 0.5% to finish at 21,687.57. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed, inching up less than 0.1% to 6,223.50. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5% to 2,224.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.1% to 30,119.56, while the Shanghai Composite inched up nearly 0.1 % to 3,241.93.
The threat from President Donald Trump to impose $11.2 billion in tariffs on European products, including cheese, wine and helicopters, could make investors even more concerned about trade disputes hurting an already slowing global economy at a time when the U.S. is trying to resolve a trade conflict with China.
That spat has already made a list of goods more expensive for consumers and is weighing on an already slowing Chinese economy. Negotiators met again last week and both sides have said they are making progress.
Traders also were disappointed to see that the International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for global growth this year. The IMF now projects 3.3% global growth in 2019, matching the weakest year since 2009. The U.S. fared particularly poorly in the report, with growth now expected at 2.3%, down from 2.9% in 2018.
Investors will get more clues about the Fed’s intentions Wednesday, when the central bank releases minutes from its latest policy meeting. The European Central Bank will also meet Wednesday.
“Amid the sporing of growth and trade tension concerns once again, sentiments in Asia markets have once again been undermined,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose 39 cents to $64.37. It fell 0.7% to settle at $63.98 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude added 36 cents to $70.97 a barrel.
The dollar fell to 111.15 yen from 111.28 yen Tuesday. The euro inched down to $1.1270 from $1.1277.
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