Global shares decline as trade war worries worsen

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. Asian stocks gained Monday amid investor jitters the U.S.-China trade war might be worsening. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Global stocks retreated Monday amid investor concerns that the U.S.-China trade war might be worsening. Investors have been encouraged by hopes global central banks will keep interest rates low or cut them further to shore up economic growth. But they continue to worry that U.S. President Donald Trump’s impending Sept. 1 tariff hike on more Chinese imports will scuttle talks aimed at ending their trade war.

In midday trading in Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.4% to 5,307, while London’s FTSE also slid 0.4% to 7,222. Germany’s DAX was down 0.2% to 11,672. On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 0.6%, pointing to another day of selling. On Friday, the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped as much as 1.3% after Trump said it would be “fine” if trade talks next month don’t happen.”

Safe havens are “still in demand on trade war anxiety,” said Alfonso Esparza of Oanda in a report. “Headwinds remain strong as a deal in the short term between the U.S. and China is a long shot.” In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2% to 2,814.99 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4% to 25,824.72. Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.2% to 1,942.99 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was 6 points higher at 6,590.30. Tokyo was closed for a holiday. Taiwan declined while New Zealand was unchanged. Markets in India, Singapore and Thailand were also closed for holidays.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 65 cents per barrel to $53.85 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.94 on Friday to close at $54.40. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 39 cents to $58.14 per barrel in London. It gained $1.15 the previous session to $58.53.

CURRENCY: The dollar edged down to 105.08 yen from Friday’s 105.66 yen. The euro ticked down slightly to $1.1193 from $1.1201.

Source: Associated Press