China’s U.S. pork imports plunge in 2018 as trade war bites By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A vendor prepares pork for sale at a market in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s imports of pork from the United States more than halved to about 263,000 tons in 2018, customs data showed on Friday, after Beijing imposed hefty tariffs on the meat as part of a trade war.

The 55 percent fall was across both quality cuts and offal, where the United States has previously accounted for about a third of China’s imports. U.S. offal shipments fell 58 percent to 177,041 tons, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the General Administration of Customs.

China is the world’s main buyer of pigs feet, as well as other items like ears, elbows and innards, providing a source of revenue for U.S. processors which can barely sell such products at home.

Nine out of every 10 pigs’ feet sold abroad by American processors in 2017 went to China, with total offal shipments to China generating about $874 million that year, according to industry and customs data.

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork, the country’s most popular meat, and the top global importer, boosting its supplies with cheaper pork from abroad. Its total imports were worth about $4 billion in 2017.

However, U.S. pork sales to China fell after Beijing hit its pork products with two rounds of trade tariffs last year, taking total duties on frozen American pork to 62 percent.

China boosted offal supplies from some smaller suppliers, while imports from Brazil of higher value pork meat – known in the trade as muscle cuts – soared to 150,116 tons, the customs data showed, more than triple the prior year.

Germany and Spain were the top suppliers in this category, both shipping more than 200,000 tons, while imports from the U.S. fell 48 percent to 85,650 tons.

Total muscle cut imports for 2018 came to 1.19 million tons, a drop of 2 percent on the year before.

Analysts believe Chinese demand for pork imports could rise in the second half of 2019, as an epidemic of African swine fever spreading through Chinese farms looks set to sharply reduce the country’s breeding herds.

The trade dispute has been a bonus for Brazil after major buyer Russia restricted pork shipments from the country in late 2017 amid a dispute over the presence of a banned feed additive.

Brazil is also benefiting from a much bigger share of China’s soybean imports at the expense of the United States.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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Australia stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.68% By Investing.com


© Reuters. Australia stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.68%

Investing.com – Australia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the , and sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the gained 0.68% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the were Iluka Resources Ltd (AX:), which rose 8.92% or 0.670 points to trade at 8.180 at the close. Meanwhile, Sims Metal Management Ltd (AX:) added 6.17% or 0.580 points to end at 9.980 and Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd (AX:) was up 5.39% or 0.230 points to 4.500 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Resmed Inc DRC (AX:), which fell 11.73% or 1.930 points to trade at 14.520 at the close. AMP Ltd (AX:) declined 7.87% or 0.200 points to end at 2.340 and Australian Pharma Industries Ltd (AX:) was down 5.82% or 0.085 points to 1.375.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 681 to 453 and 324 ended unchanged.

The , which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 4.21% to 11.982 a new 3-months low.

Gold Futures for February delivery was up 0.11% or 1.45 to $1281.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March rose 1.22% or 0.65 to hit $53.78 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 1.06% or 0.65 to trade at $61.74 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.05% to 0.7097, while AUD/JPY rose 0.20% to 77.92.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.19% at 96.110.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Asian Markets Rise Amid Conflicting Signals Over U.S.-China Trade Progress By Investing.com


© Reuters.

Investing.com – Asian stocks rose in morning trade on Friday despite concerns that the U.S. and China may be further away from a trade agreement than traders had previously hoped.

In an interview on CNBC on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said while he acknowledged there is a “fair chance” of a trade deal, and that he thinks both China and the U.S. are eager to end their trade war, he is concerned that the two nations remained far apart on trade.

“Trade is very complicated. There are lots and lots of issues,” he said.

Ross added that the two sides have been making progress on “easier” issues like how much of certain American products the Chinese will agree to buy, such as soybeans and liquefied .

On the other hand, contradicting Ross’s comments, White House Economic Adviser Lawrence Kudlow later said President Donald Trump is optimistic about trade talks, adding that he expected the January jobs report would be up a significant amount.

In Asia, China’s and the both traded 0.6% higher by 9:16 PM ET (02:16 GMT). Hong Kong’s jumped 1.4% as index heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:) gained more than 1% after Chinese regulators approved two of the company’s mobile games for commercial launch.

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television on Thursday approved 95 games in its fourth list since December, including two mobile games from Tencent Holdings Ltd and one from NetEase Inc, government data showed.

It was the first green lights given to Tencent in almost a year, as the last time its games were approved was prior to March 2018.

The Tencent games that got approved are Wood Joints and Folding Fan, both educational games. While Tencent’s shares gained today following the news, analysts and industry insiders said it is unlikely the two games can bring much revenue to Tencent.

Elsewhere, Japan’s gained 1.1% in morning trade. Subaru Corp (T:) rose 1.1% even after the company said it did not pay overtime wages over a two-year period to some 3,400 employees who under-reported their hours.

South Korea’s traded 1.0%. Down under, Australia’s was up 0.8%.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



U.S., China ‘miles and miles’ from trade deal -Ross


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and China are “miles and miles” from resolving trade issues but there is a fair chance the two countries will get a deal, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.

A 30-member Chinese delegation plans to come to Washington next week for talks, he said, as the world’s two largest economies try to meet a March 1 deadline to resolve their trade disputes, but Ross tried to tamp down expectations for the high-level talks.

“There is a very large group coming. There’s been a lot of anticipatory work done but we’re miles and miles from getting a resolution and frankly that shouldn’t be too surprising,” Ross said in an interview with CNBC.

“Trade is very complicated, there’s lots and lots of issues – not just how many soybeans and how much LNG.”

More important, he said, were the structural reforms that Washington believes are needed in the Chinese economy, as well as enforcement mechanisms for failure to adhere to whatever is agreed to.

Ross said the two sides were unlikely to resolve all their disputes in next week’s talks, but added, “I think there’s a fair chance we do get to a deal.”

Ross’ comments fed lingering stock market anxieties about damaging economic fallout from the U.S.-China trade fight, helping to keep the Dow Jones Industrial Average in negative territory and limit gains in other indexes.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was somewhat more upbeat on Thursday, saying that the United States and China were “making a lot of progress” in the talks, but he did not elaborate on areas where that progress could be seen.

FILE PHOTO – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross answers questions during an interview with Reuters in his office at the U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington, U.S., October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

High-level talks in Washington scheduled for next week will include discussions about China’s currency practices, Mnuchin said. He has criticized the yuan’s weakness in the past, but in recent days, positive sentiment toward the talks has lifted the yuan’s value against the dollar.

If a deal cannot be reached by March 2 to increase China’s protection of U.S. intellectual property, curb industrial subsidies and open Chinese markets to U.S. companies, President Donald Trump has vowed to increase tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

China has repeatedly played down complaints about intellectual property abuses, and has rejected accusations that foreign companies face forced technology transfers as a price of doing business in China. Beijing has offered instead to significantly increases purchases of U.S. soybeans, energy and other products to shrink the $375 billion annual U.S. trade deficit with China.

Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other top Trump administration officials are scheduled to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu on Jan. 30 and 31 in Washington.

“During the upcoming high-level negotiations, both sides will continue to hold in-depth talks on various economic and trade issues of mutual concern,” Gao Feng, spokesman at the commerce ministry, told reporters.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also made positive comments about the meetings in Washington. “I think the Liu He talks will be determinative,” Kudlow told Fox News.

Kudlow told Reuters on Tuesday that Trump is “not going to back down” on U.S. demands for structural changes to Chinese IP and technology practices.

Two influential business groups this week also urged Trump to push for meaningful reforms in Beijing to address “systemic issues in the Chinese economy that result in unfair competition and non-market outcomes.”

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce in China said in a new report: “While reducing the trade deficit and purchases of U.S. exports may be one aspect of the negotiations, we urge the U.S. government to prioritize outcomes that address structural changes posed by China’s economic policies and practices.”

Ross stressed there was no deadline until March 1.

“So there’s quite a little bit of time between now and then to judge just where do we stand, is it worth going forward or have we reached an impasse?”

Additional Reporting by Muyu Xu and Joseph Campbell in Beijing and David Lawder and Makini Brice in Washington; Editing by Susan Thomas and James Dalgleish



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Timely trade in PG&E Corp options reaps millions By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A PG&E truck carrying an American Flag drives past PG&E repair trucks in Paradise

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By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A well-timed trade in the options on PG&E Corp reaped a massive paper profit on Thursday after the electric utility’s shares soared following a state regulator clearing the company from any responsibilities related to the 2017 Tubbs wildfire.

PG&E shares soared 75 percent after the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) on Thursday cleared the company of the Tubbs Fire in 2017, saying the blaze was caused by a private electrical system close to a residential structure.

Minutes before the shares jumped, an unnamed trader paid $200,000 for 10,000 call contracts betting on the shares rising above $12 by Feb. 8. PG&E Corp shares were at $7.34 at that time.

Buying a call conveys the right to purchase shares at a fixed price in the future.

With the shares jumping to $13.95, the value of these contracts on paper rocketed to $3.7 million.

The trades took place at 2:39 p.m. EST, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert data. The news release on the Tubbs fire was issued at about 3:10 p.m. EST, according to CAL FIRE spokesman Scott McLean.

“Even if it was just a lotto ticket trade, it’s an extreme case of leverage paying off,” said Henry Schwartz, president of Trade Alert in New York.

On Wednesday, another 10,000 call contracts betting on PG&E Corp shares rising above $10 by Feb. 1 were bought for $300,000. By the close of trading on Thursday, on paper these contracts were worth $4.7 million.

The two trades are likely to have been made by the same trader, Schwartz said, adding that they are likely to invite regulators’ scrutiny.

Options activity has been known to spike before the public announcement of deals and other news that tends to move stock prices, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has in the past announced enforcement action for alleged insider trading involving options.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Global economy in real danger if U.S.-China trade war escalates: Reuters poll By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai

By Shrutee Sarkar

BENGALURU (Reuters) – A synchronized global economic slowdown is under way and any escalation in the U.S.-China trade war would trigger a sharper downturn, according to Reuters polls of hundreds of economists from around the world.

That is a major shift in sentiment from just a year ago, when economists were optimistic about a significant global upturn. But an escalation in trade tensions and tightening financial conditions have hurt activity in most economies and dragged China’s growth last year to the weakest in 28 years.

Reuters surveys over the past two years have repeatedly highlighted trade protectionism as one of the prominent downside risks for the global economy.

In the latest Reuters polls of more than 500 economists taken this month, growth this year was cut for 33 of 46 economies the respondents were asked about and left unchanged for 10. Predictions for only three smaller economies were marginally upgraded.

The outlook for inflation this year was trimmed for most economies too, with lower lows and lower highs.

Over half of nearly 270 economists who answered an additional question said a further escalation in the U.S.-China trade war will likely trigger an even sharper global economic slowdown this year.

With a March 1 deadline set by the White House for an agreement or risk of an escalation of tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, both U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are still far apart on key structural elements critical for a deal.

Those concerns coincide with a growing sense of unease among market experts polled by Reuters who have consistently lowered their forecasts for various asset prices over the past few months, from stock indexes to bond yields to oil.

“Irrespective of the ‘truce’ between Presidents Trump and Xi at their December meeting, trade frictions are likely to weigh on activity in 2019,” noted Janet Henry, global chief economist at HSBC.

“Further tariff increases have been postponed, but there has been no mention of the existing tariffs being lifted and the possibility of U.S. tariffs being imposed on autos is still on the table.”

Despite a 90-day truce reached in early December and Trump saying trade talks with China are going well, concerns over the conflict have continued.

“Don’t tell me anyone is really buying the drivel that a ‘great deal’ is imminent between the U.S. and China on trade, we are in the early stages of a new Cold War,” noted Jan Lambregts, global head of financial markets at Rabobank.

The global economy is forecast to expand 3.5 percent this year, the second straight cut to the 2019 outlook after it was downgraded in the previous survey for the first time since polling began for that period in July 2017. In the last poll it was 3.6 percent.

That 3.5 percent lines up with the International Monetary Fund’s growth outlook released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which highlighted the challenges policymakers face as they tackle the risk of a serious slowdown.

Major central banks, too, have changed tack on their monetary policy path as they wind down crisis-era measures while still facing an array of daunting risks.

Despite predicting two rate hikes this year, in line with the Federal Reserve’s own dot plots, economists now expect the U.S. central bank to take rates higher in the second quarter instead of the first, with a significant minority forecasting either one hike or none.

A sharp slowdown in euro zone economic growth became more prominent after Europe’s top economy, Germany, barely skirted a recession in the second half of last year. That has increased the prospect for policy normalization to be delayed.

“Global growth looks set to fall to its weakest pace since the financial crisis as slowdowns in the euro zone and China continue and the U.S. soon joins the mix,” said Andrew Kenningham, chief euro zone economist at Capital Economics.

“U.S. monetary policy tightening is pretty much over and the ECB seems set to miss the boat altogether in this cycle. Indeed, it won’t be long before policy loosening comes back on the agenda.”

But it is not just developed economies. Growth in emerging markets were also forecast to take a hit this year.

And in an extraordinary U-turn in policy, the Reserve Bank of India was forecast to cut interest rates by mid-year, compared to a rate hike predicted just a month ago.

“Markets are rightly still alert to the potential for a bigger growth hit from the trade frictions, but fears regarding the inflation outlook have eased back since early October,” added HSBC’s Henry.

“The broader question is when considering how to respond to another economic downswing is which countries can increase leverage even as others are forced to retrench.”

(For other stories from the Reuters global long-term economic outlook polls package see)

(Analysis and additional reporting by Indradip Ghosh and Mumal Rathore in Bengaluru; Polling and reporting by the Reuters Polls team in Bengaluru and bureaus in Shanghai, Tokyo, London, Milan, Paris, Oslo, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Toronto, Brasilia, Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Caracas and Santiago; Editing by Ross Finley and Alison Williams (NYSE:))



Cryptos Trade Sideways With Mild Gains and Losses Among Top Coins, Bitcoin Above $3,600 By Cointelegraph


© Reuters. Cryptos Trade Sideways With Mild Gains and Losses Among Top Coins, Bitcoin Above $3,600

Thursday, Jan. 24 — the top 20 cryptocurrencies are mostly trading sideways with slight losses and gains across the board. (BTC) is currently creeping above $3,600 according to data from CoinMarketCap.

At press time, Bitcoin is continuing to trade around the $3,600 threshold as it did yesterday. The current price is $3,610, up 0.65 percent on the day. On its weekly chart, Bitcoin is down 1.4 percent from $3,670 on Jan. 17.

Continue Reading on Coin Telegraph

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



White House adviser says trade talks with China will be ‘determinative’: Fox News By Reuters


© Reuters. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks at the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday the upcoming trade talks between the United States and China would be crucial in determining whether the globe’s two largest economies could clinch a deal on trade.

“I think the (Chinese Vice Premier) Liu He talks will be determinative,” Kudlow said in an interview with Fox News Channel.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 1.16% By Investing.com


© Reuters. Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 1.16%

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the , and sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the added 1.16% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the were Via Varejo SA (SA:), which rose 6.40% or 0.33 points to trade at 5.49 at the close. Meanwhile, CCR SA (SA:) added 5.54% or 0.75 points to end at 14.28 and Kroton Educacional SA (SA:) was up 5.54% or 0.60 points to 11.44 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Log Commercial Properties e Participacoes SA (SA:), which fell 2.08% or 0.40 points to trade at 18.80 at the close. Magazine Luiza SA (SA:) declined 1.25% or 2.12 points to end at 167.48 and Fleury SA (SA:) was down 0.95% or 0.21 points to 22.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the BM&FBovespa Stock Exchange by 269 to 185 and 25 ended unchanged.

The , which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was down 0.15% to 32.41.

Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.35% or 4.55 to $1279.45 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March rose 1.16% or 0.61 to hit $53.23 a barrel, while the March US coffee C contract rose 2.51% or 2.60 to trade at $106.00 .

USD/BRL was up 0.22% to 3.7732, while EUR/BRL fell 0.40% to 4.2674.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.49% at 96.238.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Stocks meander, bonds up after ECB, U.S.-China trade talk


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks flitted between positive and negative territory on Thursday while U.S. Treasuries were in demand after the European Central Bank chief said economic growth was likely to be weaker than previously expected and the United States was cautious on prospects for a trade deal with China.

FILE PHOTO – A journalist takes a picture of the new 50 Euro banknote with a mobile phone during the presentation of the new bill at the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Demand increased for safe-haven assets with U.S. Treasury 10-year yields hitting a one-week low, due to anxiety about slowing global growth and trade after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that Washington was “miles and miles” from resolving trade issues with China. [US/]

The euro touched its lowest point against the dollar in six weeks after ECB President Mario Draghi left the bloc’s interest rates unchanged on Thursday, saying near-term data is likely to be weaker than previously anticipated due to the fallout from factors ranging from China’s slowdown to Brexit.

“It’s not just an European issue. We are talking about a global slowdown,” said Stan Shipley, a strategist at Evercore ISI in New York.

On top of the U.S.-China trade war and its global impact investors were also worried about the economic impact of the longest U.S. government shutdown in history, now in its 34th day.

Thursday’s data showed the number of applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell to more than a 49-year low last week though claims for several states including California were estimated.

But while the data was encouraging, Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust in Delaware said it was only a matter of time before a continued shutdown would do “irreparable damage” to the economy. The shutdown and U.S.-China trade war are adding pressure to global economies, he said.

“Every day that goes by that we don’t have positive news on those fronts, the starting base line (for the market) is negative,” said Roth. “It’s a major tactical blunder that the (Trump) administration is trying to do both at the same time.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 77.85 points, or 0.32 percent, to 24,497.77, the S&P 500 lost 3.59 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,635.11 and the Nasdaq Composite added 27.08 points, or 0.39 percent, to 7,052.85.

On Wall Street Nasdaq was supported by strength in chipmaker and airline stocks after earnings reports.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.22 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.04 percent.

The euro was 0.78 percent lower against the dollar at $1.1291, its lowest since Dec. 14, and on pace for the second-worst day this year. More broadly, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus the euro, yen, sterling and three other currencies, was up 0.56 percent at 96.658.Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 12/32 in price to yield 2.7121 percent, from 2.755 percent late on Wednesday.

Oil prices were supported by the U.S. threat of sanctions on OPEC member Venezuela but limited by U.S. data showing record high gasoline inventories and an unexpected big build in crude.

Brent crude futures fell 2 cents to $61.12 a barrel by 2:23 p.m. EST (1923 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 56 cents to $53.18 a barrel. [O/R]

Additional reporting by Richard Leong, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Stephanie Kelly in New York, Marc Jones and Abhinav Ramnarayan in London; editing by G Crosse and Chizu Nomiyama



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