Global stocks rise, unfazed by US-China tensions

SINGAPORE — Stock markets rose Wednesday as investors rallied around signs that the global economy was on track despite heated exchanges between the world's two largest economies over trade.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent to 12,692 and France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent to 5,400. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.9 percent to 7,668. Wall Street was poised to open higher. Dow futures added 0.3 percent and the broader S&P 500's futures were up 0.2 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rebounded 1.2 percent to close at 22,555.43 and South Korea's Kospi gained 1.0 percent to 2,363.91. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.8 percent to 29,696.17 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China increased 0.3 percent to 2,915.73. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.2 percent to 6,172.60. Taiwan's benchmark rose, but Southeast Asian indexes were mixed.

U.S.-CHINA TARIFFS: A budding trade war between the U.S. and China is showing no signs of abating. On Tuesday, China's government called President Donald Trump's threat of new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods blackmail and warned that it would retaliate with measures of its own. Trump has already announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese products starting July 6. China retaliated by raising import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey.

QUOTEWORTHY: "Trade tension is going to dominate market sentiment in the weeks to come. The market is waiting for Beijing to come out with counter measurements to offload more chips," said Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.

NEW EUROZONE BUDGET: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed to create a eurozone budget. The new budget aims to boost investment and provide a safety mechanism for the 19 nations using the euro currency. That could bolster longer-term confidence in the currency union, which has been hobbled by a lack of a central pot of money to help investment in individual countries.

POSITIVE HOUSING DATA: The solid U.S. job market has helped to boost demand for new homes. The Commerce Department said housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.35 million in May, the strongest pace since July 2007. All of May's construction gains came from a 62 percent jump in the Midwest, while building slumped in the Northeast, South and West.

ENERGY: Oil futures ticked up ahead of Friday's OPEC meeting. Saudi Arabia and Russia are seeking to raise production by 1.5 million barrels per day, but they may not get their way, experts say. Analysts expect the group to consider an increase in production of about 1 million barrels a day, ending the output cut agreed on in 2016. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 3 cents to $65.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract settled at $64.90 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 6 cents to $75.02 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged down to 110.02 yen from 110.07 in late trading Tuesday. The euro dipped to $1.1572 from $1.1575.

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