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US & World

Global stocks higher as investors monitor US-China talks

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets mostly rose on Wednesday as investors assessed developments in U.S.-Chinese trade talks following reports Beijing wants Washington to lift punitive tariffs.

Markets rose in much of Europe, as they did in Japan, while the Shanghai index declined and Hong Kong’s was flat. Wall Street futures were up slightly.

Beijing wants 15% tariffs imposed in September on $125 billion of Chinese imports removed as part of a truce in a trade war that threatens global growth, according to news reports. There was no sign whether President Donald Trump would agree, which raised the possibility of a new breakdown in negotiations.

“We see it fit to temper optimism for now,” said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report.

That limited gains for stock markets, which have had a strong week overall. Germany’s DAX rose 0.1% to 13,162 and France’s CAC 40 added 0.3% to 5,863. London’s FTSE 100 was unchanged at 7,388.

On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up less than 0.1%. On Tuesday, the Dow and Nasdaq both hit record highs.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.2% to 23,303.82 and Seoul’s Kospi added just under 0.1% to 2,144.15. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat at 27,688.64.

The Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.4% to 2,978.60. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.5% to 6,660.20 and India’s Sensex was up 0.8% at 40,574.79.

China’s central bank helped ease worries about a possible liquidity crunch by trimming its interest rate on a one-year loan by 0.05% to 3.25%.

Analysts said the People’s Bank of China was filling demands for credit while keeping financial system risks under control.

“This is a small step towards future policy rate cuts, and it also signals that China’s central bank will finally start to follow other central banks in lowering its policy rate,” Citigroup economists said in a report.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 7 cents to $57.16 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 69 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 27 cents to $62.69 per barrel in London. It gained 83 cents the previous session.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.03 yen from Tuesday’s 109.16. The euro gained to $1.1081 from $1.1077.

Associated Press