Global stocks mostly fell on Friday and the dollar weakened on concerns about conflict over trade after the U.S. imposed tariffs on some imports.
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KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent to 5,529, while Germany's DAX was down almost 0.1 percent at 13,554. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent to 7,691. U.S. shares were set for small gains, with Dow futures adding 0.4 percent and S&P 500 futures up 0.3 percent.
TRADE TROUBLES: President Donald Trump's move Tuesday to tax imported solar cells and washing machines was denounced by several nations including China, Germany and Mexico and is likely to heighten tensions between the United States and its trade partners. Touchier trade cases lie ahead, involving China's overproduction of steel and aluminum and its theft of trade secrets. On Wednesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross conceded that China could respond by imposing its own tariffs on U.S. products.
ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "Above all, what is spooking the markets today is a trade war," Naeem Aslam of ThinkMarkets said in a commentary.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.8 percent to finish at 23,940.78, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.1 percent to 32,958.69. The Shanghai Composite index edged nearly 0.4 percent higher to 3,559.47 and South Korea's Kospi gained less than 0.1 percent to 2,538.00. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 6,054.70. Shares fell in Taiwan and were mixed in Southeast Asia.
QUALCOMM FINE: Shares in chipmaker Qualcomm were down 1.3 percent in premarket trading after the European Union fined it over $1.23 billion for allegedly paying Apple to use its chips exclusively for half a decade. Qualcomm says it will appeal the fine.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell across the board. It was down to 109.50 yen from 110.32 yen late Tuesday in Asia. The euro hit a three-year high against the dollar, rising to $1.2346 from $1.2299.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 26 cents to $64.73 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 90 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 4 cents to $69.92.
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