Wednesday December 5th


European stocks fall amid rising trade war fears

European stocks were lower Wednesday morning, as resurgent trade worries worsened investor fears about global economic growth. The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped around 0.8 percent during mid-morning deals, with almost all sectors and major bourses in negative territory. Trading volumes are expected to be relatively low on Wednesday, with U.S. stock markets closed as citizens observe a national day of mourning for President George H. W. Bush. Stocks in Asia declined on Wednesday after an overnight plunge on Wall Street as investors worried about a potential economic slowdown and the state of the U.S.-China trade war. The mainland Chinese markets, closely watched in relation to Beijing's ongoing dispute with Washington, slipped by the end of their trading day. The Shanghai composite declined 0.61 percent to close at about 2,649.81 and the Shenzhen composite fell 0.484 percent to finish at around 1,380.78. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong also fell by around 1.6 percent as of its final hour of trading. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.53 percent to close at 21,919.33 while the Topix shed 0.53 percent to end its trading day at 1,640.49. The losses were also seen in South Korea, where the Kospi declined by 0.62 percent to close at 2,101.31. Oil fell on Wednesday as a swelling supply glut and signs of an economic slowdown weighed on crude prices a day ahead of an OPEC meeting at which the producer club is expected to decide supply cuts. International Brent crude oil futures were at $61.16 per barrel at 0757 GMT, down 92 cents, or 1.5 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.40 per barrel, down 85 cents, or 1.6 percent. Gold prices dipped on Wednesday, retreating from a more than five-week top hit in the previous session, as the dollar crawled higher. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,235.31 per ounce at 0648 GMT, after hitting its highest since Oct. 26 at $1,241.86 an ounce in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were down 0.5 percent at $1,240.7 per ounce.