China tries to defuse trade pressure, says world benefits

Cuban cigars

Cuban cigars

The index is the global market's worst performer this year, down 14 percent since the start of this year.

Chinese stocks were the biggest losers with Shanghai Composite Index sinking 0.9 percent to 2,818.75.

Germany's DAX was down 1.2 percent to 12,206 and France's CAC 40 shed 0.6 percent to 5,293. Wall Street was poised for a subdued open. Dow futures were down 0.1 percent and S&P 500 futures dipped 0.2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 28,497.32 while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China extended its losses by 0.9 percent to 2,786.90.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost another 0.6 per cent after touching a two-year trough on Tuesday. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 edged down less than 0.1 percent to 6,195.90.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration unveiled a plan for a stronger security review process of foreign investors acquiring American technology, easing its tone from previous remarks indicating it would specifically block Chinese investments. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's suggestion that the investment restrictions wouldn't be limited to China caused stocks to slide further.

Beijing has made a decision to put the agreement into effect next week, five days before the Trump administration will impose 25 percent tariffs on US$34bn worth of Chinese goods, in the hope to rally support to fight "trade protectionism", the South China Morning Post commented.

Gains were capped by investors' persistent concerns about the volatility in U.S.

In two separate moves in recent weeks, the U.S. has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from a number of sources, including the European Union, and on $50bn worth of Chinese goods.




China will reduce or cut to zero tariffs on a total of 8,549 types of goods originating in India and four other Asian countries from July 1, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The yuan weakened 389 basis points to 6.5569 against the USA dollar Wednesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 as a developing country, but the United States says it no longer qualifies for that protection since it's emerged as a strong competitor in smartphones, solar panels and other technology.

The move takes gold's decline this month to more than 3 percent - the biggest monthly drop since September - driven by a dollar rally, a large decline in gold held by exchange-traded funds and a sharp fall in speculative bets on higher prices.

GENERAL ELECTRIC: Shares in General Electric jumped 4.4 percent in premarket trading on reports that the company would spin off its health care business and sell its $23 billion stake in oil services company Baker Hughes.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 2 cents to $68.06 per barrel in NY.

United States crude added 17 cents to US$70.70, having surged 3.6 per cent overnight, while Brent climbed 18 cents to US$76.49 a barrel.

The dollar changed hands at 110.32 yen, up slightly but well within its narrow trading range over the past month. The euro ticked up to $1.1584 from $1.1557.

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