Global stocks subdued as US mulls auto import tariffs

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia on Thursday after the Trump administration said it was investigating imposing new tariffs on imports of autos and auto parts. Fresh trade tensions combined with uncertainties over the North Korean situation grabbed attention in the absence of other market moving developments.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’sNikkei 225 index fell 1.1 percent to 22,437.01 and the Kospi in South Korea slipped 0.2 percent to 2,466.01. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent higher to 6,037.10 and the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.5 percent to 3,154.65. Shares rose in Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore but fell in Thailand.

TRUMP ON TRADE: China and Japan both condemned the Trump administration’s decision to launch an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on imports of vehicles and automotive parts into the United States. China’sCommerce Ministry said Beijing would “firmly defend” its rights and interests. Japan’s minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko, warned that additional tariffs would put the global market into turmoil.

ANALYST’S PERSPECTIVE: “Fasten up as this will surely get bumpier with Tariff’s, NAFTA and North Korea dominating headlines still,” Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary. “The underperformance of emerging market currencies and heightened global geopolitical risks should continue to wear on investors risk appetite.”

WALL STREET: Shares recovered from early losses after the Fed released minutes from its meeting in early May, where officials concluded that the U.S. central bank should be on track to keep raising interest rates gradually. Some said it wouldn’t be a problem if inflation briefly went past the Fed’s target rate of 2 percent. The S&P 500 index rose 0.3 percent to 2,733.29 and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.2 percent to 24,886.81. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.6 percent to 7,425.96. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged 0.1 percent higher, to 1,627.61.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 26 cents to $71.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 36 cents to $71.84 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 33 cents to $79.47.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dropped to 109.63 yen from 110.09 yen. The euro rose to $1.1729 from $1.1697.

This article provided by NewsEdge.