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World stocks end four-day winning streak as US-China tensions grow

Business | 2020-08-07 13:00:41
World stocks end four-day winning streak as US-China tensions grow
World stocks ended four days of gains Friday after US. President Donald Trump cranked up simmering tensions with China by banning US transactions with two popular Chinese apps, Tencent's WeChat and ByteDance's Tiktok.

Chinese stocks led losers in Asia and its currency slumped after Trump issued the executive orders. His administration said this week it was stepping up efforts to purge "untrusted" Chinese apps from US digital networks and called TikTok and WeChat "significant threats."

"The US pressure on China's tech sector appears likely to continue in the presidential elections, injecting volatility in the sector and opening the door to escalatory retaliation," UBS strategists said.

European stocks opened lower, with major indexes down between 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent in early trading .

MSCI's broadest index of world stocks fell 0.2 percent Friday after up four consecutive days of gains. It was less than three percent away from a late February peak.

Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell one percent, with mainland Chinese indexes down more than one percent each, even though Chinese trade data for July showed exports beat expectations.

Risk appetite was also subdued on Friday with hopes fading for a quick deal by USpolicymakers on stimulus worth at least $1 trillion to support the country's fragile economy. The White House and Democrats remained far apart on the size of the stimulus package and what to include.

The risk-off mood pushed US Treasury yields lower and offered a brief respite to the struggling dollar, which has been under pressure in recent weeks. The 10-year US Treasury yield dipped 1.1 basis points to 0.5198 percent, near Thursday's five-month low of 0.504 percent.

Closely watched US non-farm payrolls data, due at 1230 GMT, is expected to show an increase of 1.58 million in July, compared with 4.8 million in June.

Gold hit a record high of $2,075.2 per ounce XAU= before succumbing to profit-taking to slip to $2,063.

Silver dropped 1.7 percent to $28.452 per ounce following its rise to a seven-year high of $29.838.

Oil prices were little changed, with Brent futures down 0.1 percent at $45.04 per barrel.

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