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Overnight Markets: stocks end lower on renewed US-China trade tensions

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Overnight Markets: stocks end lower on renewed US-China trade tensions

US stocks dipped on Wednesday as escalating trade tensions between the US and China overshadowed the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting that was largely interpreted as accommodative.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 101 points, or 0.39%, to 25,777, the S&P 500 lost eight points, or 0.28%, to 2,856 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 35 points, or 0.45%, to 7,751.

Stocks markets were rattled yesterday anew after reports that the Trump administration was considering sanctions on video surveillance firm Hikvision a day after Washington’s temporary easing of curbs against Huawei Technology Co Ltd.

Investors were on edge on fears that tit-for-tat tariffs and other retaliatory actions by the US and China will hamper global growth.

Stocks largely shrugged off the release of minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting, in which officials agreed that their patient approach to setting monetary policy could remain in place “for some time.”

In individual stocks, shares of Qualcomm Inc tumbled 10.9% after a federal judge ruled that the chipmaker illegally suppressed competition in the market for smartphone chips by threatening to cut off supplies and extracting excessive licensing fees.  

Lowe’s Companies Inc dived 11.8% after the home improvement chain cut its full-year profit forecast.

Another retailer, Nordstrom Inc, also reduced its sales and profit forecasts. Nordstrom shares dropped 9.2%.

However, shares of Target Corp jumped 7.8%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the retailer’s quarterly same-store sales and profit beat estimates.

Shares of Avon Products Inc. soared 9.1% after media reports said Brazil makeup group Natura Cosmeticos will buy the iconic American makeup company.

Tesla Inc. fell 6%, on track for sixth straight day of declines after Citigroup issued an updated bear case on the company, arguing that its shares could fall 80% to $36.

In Asia, share markets declined on Thursday in morning session as investors worried about the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China.

Mainland Chinese shares slipped in early trade, as the Shanghai composite, Shenzhen component and Shenzhen composite all fell more than 1% each. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 1.28%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.99%, while South Korea’s Kospi slipped about 0.8%. Australia’s ASX 200 declined 0.36%.

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