Markets rise between trade war salvos

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Global stocks mostly pushed higher on Wednesday as investors looked past the latest tit-for-tat tariffs by China and the United States.

US President Donald Trump said this week that he would press ahead with 10 percent levies on another $200 billion of imports, prompting Beijing to target $60 billion of US goods with five to 10 percent taxes.

China rejected US President Donald Trump's claim that it was tailoring retaliatory tariffs goods with an eye towards hitting the US president in the upcoming midterm elections.

It called on the United States to show "respect" to China a day after both countries announced new tariffs on each other.

The developments were a clear escalation in the months-long standoff between the world's top two economies.

However, analysts said the retaliation measures were not as painful as they could have been.

"Now that Washington DC and Beijing have stepped up their tactics, there is a feeling in the markets that a weight has been lifted as we have gotten over a hump," said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK.

"The trade dispute may have taken a turn for the worse, but traders aren't expecting another escalation in the near-term," he said.

Europe's main markets followed Asian markets higher.

Meanwhile on Wall Street, the Dow was up 0.7 percent in late morning trading, but the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite were narrowly mixed.

Investors were also tracking a meeting of European leaders in Salzburg, Austria, for a summit to set up the last stretch of talks for a Brexit deal.

The leaders will then meet without British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday to discuss the hurdles to a deal and a parallel statement on future relations with Britain, following its departure from the European Union at the end of March.

The pound initially leapt on news that Britain's annual inflation rate unexpectedly hit a six-month high in August, but it later gave up those gains on the latest snags in the Brexit talks.

But the pound then retreated after EU President Donald Tusk told Britain that it needed to rethink its negotiating position on the Irish border and on future trade ties with the European Union as part of Brexit negotiations.

"The British economy is ticking along nicely, but the political uncertainty is holding the pound back," said Madden at CMC Markets.

- Key figures around 1540 GMT -

New York - Dow Jones: UP 0.7 percent at 26,439.16 points

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,331.12 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.5 percent at 12,219.02 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.6 percent at 5,393.74 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,369.13

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.1 percent at 23,672.52 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.2 percent at 27,407.37 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.1 percent at 2,730.85 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1673 from $1.1667 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3153 from $1.3148

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.24 yen from 112.36 yen

Oil - Brent Crude: UP 24 cents at $79.27 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 96 cents at $70.81


© 2018 AFP

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