BANGKOK: Shares were mixed in Europe and Asia on Wednesday after the U.S. followed through with plans to put higher tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese exports.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent to 7,737.56. In Germany, the DAX slipped 0.1 percent to 12,636.05 and the French CAC 40 lost less than 0.1 percent to 5,518.64. The future contract for the Dow edged 0.03 percent higher to 25,607.00 while that of the S&P 500 was flat at 2,859.50.
THE DAY IN ASIA: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains to fall 0.1 percent to 22,644.31 and the Shanghai Composite index fell 1.3 percent to 2,744.07. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent to 28,359.14. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 climbed 0.2 percent to 6,268.50 while South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1 percent higher to 2,301.45. India’s Sensex climbed 0.4 percent to 37,802.19. Shares rose in Thailand but fell in Indonesia and Singapore.
TESLA: Tesla surged after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had invested in the company and CEO Elon Musk later said he might take the company private. Musk, who owns about 20 percent of Tesla’s stock, said he had not made a decision about taking the company private but such a move would make it easier for Tesla to focus on long-term goals. Musk said he would pay $420 a share, well above Tesla’s all-time high from September. The stock gained 11 percent to $379.57.
TRADE MOVES: The U.S. Trade Representative announced it will begin imposing 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports beginning Aug. 23. The list is heavy on industrial products such as steam turbines and iron girders. So far, the tariffs that the U.S. and its trading partners have announced recently are still small and haven’t affected the broader market very much. China reported Wednesday that its exports to the U.S. rose 13.3 percent year-on-year in July while total exports jumped 12.2 percent.
CHINA TOWER IPO: Shares in the state-owned monopoly that operates China’s vast network of mobile phone towers are flat as the company makes its stock market debut in Hong Kong after raising $6.9 billion from investors. China Tower Corp. closed at 1.26 Hong Kong dollars (16 U.S. cents) per share, unchanged from its initial public offering price of 1.26 Hong Kong dollars (16 U.S. cents). China Tower says it operates 1.9 million cell tower sites across China, the biggest mobile phone market. It has given no indication of plans to expand abroad.
ENERGY: U.S. crude oil picked up 6 cents to $69.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 16 cents to $69.17 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, rose 2 cents to $74.67 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 110.96 yen from 111.37 yen. The euro fell to $1.1591 from $1.1599.
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