Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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European stocks were lower Tuesday morning, amid rising doubts over whether the world’s two largest economies will be able to resolve their trade differences.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.3 percent with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, after news of a temporary trade truce between the U.S. and China had sparked a global rally in equity markets in the previous session. The political deal, agreed over a working dinner between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping on Saturday evening, should see both sides hold off on imposing additional charges against each other’s goods in the short term.

However, confusion over the exact timing of the tariffs cease-fire soured investor sentiment overnight. One White House official said a 90-day period to resolve lingering Sino-U.S. trade disagreements would start on December 1, Reuters reported, whereas White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters it would start from January 1.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, slipped 0.3 percent on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, oil prices continued to rise after surging more than 4 percent at the start of the trading week. The gains come ahead of a critical OPEC meeting on Thursday, with energy market participants widely expecting the influential oil cartel and its allies to orchestrate a fresh round of production cuts.


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