THURSDAY, February 22, 2024

Global stocks mostly climb despite rising trade tensions

Global stocks mostly climb despite rising trade tensions

World stock markets mostly climbed Friday despite rising trade tensions, with petroleum-linked shares gaining after OPEC agreed to only a modest production increase.

The Dow snapped an eight-session losing streak, with oil producers Exxon Mobil and Chevron both rising more than two percent on higher oil prices.

Ministers with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to ramp up oil production by around a million barrels a day from July.

However, some ministers acknowledged that the actual amount of additional produced will be lower than that amount. US oil prices rose nearly five percent following the agreement, with analysts saying the output increase would be smaller than expected.

The rally in oil prices also gave a lift to French giant Total and London-listed Royal Dutch Shell.

Bourses in Paris and London both rose more than one percent, while Frankfurt rose a more modest 0.5 percent.

The gains came as the European Union slapped revenge tariffs on iconic US products including bourbon, jeans and motorcycles in its opening salvo in a trade war with President Donald Trump.

Customs agents across Europe's colossal market of 500 million people will now impose the duty, hiking prices on US-made products in supermarkets and across factory floors.

Trump wasted little time in responding, threatening on Twitter to impose 20 percent tariffs on European-made cars exported to the US, pressuring European automakers including Italy's Fiat Chrysler and Germany's Daimler.

"The underlying tensions between the US and China continue to escalate, and while neither wants a trade war, the US won't accept the status quo, and China won't change its industrial policy," Rabobank senior strategist Michael Every told AFP.

Many analysts have expressed skepticism that a trade war is inevitable. Still, anxiety is rising.

"The hope is that the Trump administration's tough approach towards its trading partners is a negotiating tactic and the growth-killing implications of an all-out trade war will be avoided," said Bob Schwartz, senior economist at Oxford Economics. "The latest salvo by Trump on Friday, threatening to impose a 20 percent tariff on European auto imports, is clearly not encouraging."

Key figures around 2100 GMT

New York - Dow Jones: UP 0.5 percent at 24,580.89 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 2,754.88 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,692.82 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.7 percent at 7,682.27 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.5 percent at 12,579.72 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.3 percent at 5,387.38 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.1 percent at 3,441.60 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 22,516.83 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 29,338.70 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.5 percent at 2,889.76 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1658 from $1.1604 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3260 from $1.3240

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.98 yen from 109.99 yen

Oil - Brent Crude: UP $2.50 at $75.55 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP $3.04 at $68.58 per barrel