Equities advance after week-long selloff


World stock markets climbed for the first time this week on Thursday, giving pause to a multiday selloff on fears of an escalating trade war between the United States and China that has pushed investors into safehaven bonds and the US dollar. Signs that the year-long trade dispute between the US and China will not be resolved quickly and concerns over its impact on global growth have roiled markets, sending stock indexes into their most turbulent month of the year so far. We oppose a trade war but are not afraid of a trade war, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said on Thursday in Beijing, when asked about the tensions with the United States. This kind of deliberately provoking trade dispute is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, economic bullying, he said. His comments followed reports from Chinese newspapers that Beijing could use its rare earth supplies as a bargaining chip here to strike back at Washington after US President Donald Trump remarked he was not yet ready to make a deal with China over trade. Rare earth supplies are elements used in production in industries such as renewable energy technology, oil refinery, electronics and glass. There have been concerns that China, a key exporter of rare earths to the United States, may use that fact as leverage in the trade spat. People are trying to figure out how much of the bad news is already priced in. The trade war looks like it might dampen growth but not enough to throw us into a recession, said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida. — VoM

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