Fri. 9:49 a.m.: Uncertainty over US-China trade keeps markets in check

A currency trader watches computer monitors near the screen showing the Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (KOSDAQ), left, at the foreign exchange dealing room Thursday in Seoul, South Korea. Asian stocks are mostly lower after a meandering day of trading left U.S. stock indexes close to their record highs. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

LONDON (AP) — Uncertainty about a possible U.S.-Chinese agreement to roll back tariffs in their trade war kept global markets in check today.

Though the two sides have agreed to reduce some punitive tariffs on each other’s goods, the full extent of the rollback wasn’t clear. A Chinese spokesman announced the development Thursday as talks on ending the trade war progressed, and it triggered a rally in U.S. stock markets.

The two biggest global economies have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods. That has disrupted supply chains, threatening to chill worldwide economic growth.

“Sometimes we can get so caught up in the trade headlines that we don’t stop to question why everything doesn’t quite add up and align with past behavior,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX was down 0.2 percent at 13,262 while France’s CAC 40 fell 0.2 percent to 5,881. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.3 percent lower at 7,385.

Wall Street was poised for a steady open after a series of records, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures both down 0.1 percent.

Earlier in Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent to 2,964.18 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tumbled 0.7 percent to 27,651.14. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 though bucked the trend and closed 0.3 percent higher at 23,391.87.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 85 cents to $56.30 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 91 cents to $61.38 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.103 while the dollar firmed 0.1 percent to 109.37 yen.


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