Global Stocks Fall as China Flexes Muscles Over Hong Kong

Featured ETFs Rally After Overnight Slump As Reopening Optimism Trumps China News By Ian Young

Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher on Friday, concluding a positive week amid optimism about the reopening of the U.S. economy and progress on a coronavirus vaccine.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 8.96 points at 24,465.16.

Late in the session, stocks edged lower after the U.S. Commerce Department said it was adding 33 Chinese companies and other institutions to an economic blacklist for human rights violations and to address U.S. national security concerns. The S&P 500 is off by 0.13%, while the Nasdaq Composite treading water above breakeven from yesterday's close.

Oil prices tumbled and global equity markets fell on Friday as China's move to impose a new security law on Hong Kong further strained U.S.

The S&P 500 has surged over 30% from its March low, but it remains down about 13% from its February 19 record high.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 5.6% in its worst day since July 2015 after China moved to impose new national-security laws on the city.

While market watchers expect US President Donald Trump to continue to attack China as his re-election campaign heats up, investors are skeptical he will take action that threatens the trade detente with Beijing.

Also weighing on sentiment was news that China would drop its annual economic growth target for the first time.

"I would just think about technology as having become even more of a staple and a key ingredient to how we live our daily lives and the infrastructure buildout that's going to be needed in the tech space to support what is likely to be a very changed relationship that people have with employment change, relationship with education, entertainment, transportation", said Reiman.

Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sub-indices were trading lower, led by energy as oil prices sank 5%. Smaller rival Pinduoduo Inc's US-listed shares gained 1% after posting upbeat earnings report.

The June gold contract was up US$9.40 at US$1,731.30 an ounce and the July copper contract was down eight cents at US$2.38 a pound.

The July crude contract was down US$1.26 at US$32.66 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was up a little over a penny at almost US$1.87 per mmBTU. The price has risen this month as oil producing nations cut back on output and the gradual reopening of economies around the globe have driven up demand. Trading volumes were lower than average ahead of the Memorial Day long weekend in the United States.

The S&P 500 index inched up 0.2% after having been down 0.5%. "But at the same time, demand is ticking up and supply is ticking down", as Asian countries reopen, he said. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, fell 2.6% to settle at $35.13 a barrel.

Oil continued to bounce along the lows of the session, with USA benchmark West Texas Intermediate down 3.15 per cent to trade at US$32.85 per barrel.

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