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World stocks edge up amid corporate news, US-China spat

August 8, 2018
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A man walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in Hong Kong Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. Shares are mostly higher in Asia after the U.S. followed through with plans to put higher tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese exports. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

BANGKOK (AP) — World stock markets mostly rose Wednesday as investors focused on corporate news and looked past the U.S. decision to follow through with plans to put higher tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese exports.

KEEPING SCORE: In Germany, the DAX was up 0.3 percent to 12,688, while France’s CAC 40 was about flat at 5,525. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.9 percent to 7,787, driven by a drop in the pound, which helps the country’s main exporters and multinationals. Sentiment was also driven by higher earnings at commodities trader Glencore, suggesting the industry is recovering from years of trouble. The future contract for the Dow edged up 0.1 percent while that of the S&P 500 was flat.

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.

TESLA: Shares in 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 fell 36 cents to $68.81 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 22 cents to $74.42 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.07 yen from 111.37 yen. The euro dipped to $1.1597 from $1.1599.

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