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Global stocks shrug off latest tariffs as US-China talks grind on

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Global stocks largely shrugged off new US tariff measures on China on Friday as officials agreed to continue trade negotiations, while ride-hailing company Uber tumbled in its long-awaited market debut.

[NEW YORK] Global stocks largely shrugged off new US tariff measures on China on Friday as officials agreed to continue trade negotiations, while ride-hailing company Uber tumbled in its long-awaited market debut.

Wall Street endured a roller-coaster session, with the Dow shedding more than 350 points early in the session in the hours after Washington raised duties on US$200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

But investors were cheered by President Donald Trump's upbeat comments after the talks ended with no deal, but also no breakdown. That helped the Dow score a 0.4 per cent gain on the session.

"The markets are putting an optimistic spin on very little information," said Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors.

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"The message we got is more 'We'll keep talking, stay tuned,'" she added. "It creates more uncertainty and leaves the market in a limbo."

Russ Mould, investment director at stockbroker AJ Bell, said markets were adopting a wait-and-see approach despite the latest US tariff measures - and he suspected that a deal would eventually be clinched.

"Investors hate uncertainty as it leads to speculation about what might and might not happen. Once they have the real facts, investors can properly assess the situation," Mr Mould told AFP.

"I suspect that markets still believe a deal can and will be done, because both President Xi and President Trump need one."

Earlier, Paris and Frankfurt finished higher, while London and Tokyo fell modestly.

European markets also got a boost from strong economic data, including accelerated British economic growth, and a stronger trade surplus for Germany.

Frankfurt's Dax index outperformed its European peers largely thanks to a whopping surge in Thyssenkrupp shares which rose over 20 per cent after the steel conglomerate said it was dropping its merger plans with Tata of India.

SPEED BUMP FOR UBER

In its market debut, ride-hailing company Uber tumbled 7.6 per cent from its initial public offering price, while arch-rival Lyft slumped 7.4 per cent.

Both companies have grown rapidly despite heavy losses but some investors are skittish about their prospects for profitability.

The drop was a "big disappointment" and suggested lower demand than expected for a major name like Uber, said Matt Kennedy, senior IPO market strategist at Renaissance Capital.

"Silicon Valley may not care about losses, but Wall Street does," he said.

KEY FIGURES AROUND 2050 GMT

New York - Dow: UP 0.4 per cent at 25,942.37 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.4 per cent at 2,881.40 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.1 per cent at 7,916.

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 per cent at 7,203.29 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.7 per cent at 12,059.83 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 per cent at 5,327.44 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 per cent at 3,361.05 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 per cent at 21,344.92 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.8 per cent at 28,550.24 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 3.1 per cent at 2,939.21 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1239 from $1.1215 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3006 from $1.3014

Dollar/yen: UP at 109.96 yen from 109.74 yen

Oil - Brent Crude: UP 23 cents at $70.62 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 4 cents at $61.66 per barrel

AFP