Global stock markets were mostly higher Wednesday after investors were rattled by a possible snag in a U.S.-Chinese trade truce following reports Beijing wants Washington to lift punitive tariffs.
Germany and Paris opened higher and London was unchanged. Tokyo rose while Shanghai declined and Hong Kong was flat.
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.
In early trading, Germany’s DAX rose 0.2% to 13,181.29 and France’s CAC 40 added 0.2% to 5,861.24. London’s FTSE 100 was unchanged at 7,388.20.
On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up just under 0.1%.
On Tuesday, the Dow and the Nasdaq composite both rose 0.1% to record highs. The S&P 500 fell 0.1%.
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.
Taiwan and Singapore advanced while New Zealand declined.
China’s central bank helped ease worries about a possible liquidity crunch by cutting 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 34 cents to $56.89 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 69 cents on Tuesday to close at $57.23. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 50 cents to $62.46 per barrel in London. It gained 83 cents the previous session to close at $62.96.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 108.97 yen from Tuesday’s 109.16. The euro gained to $1.1089 from $1.1077.