Global stocks weighed down by trade concerns

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NEW YORK

A slight gain in benchmark US. indices early on Tuesday was not enough to turn global stock markets higher as concerns about Italy’s budget and the fate of U.S.-China trade talks continued to weigh on investor sentiment. Markets had been cheered by limited gains for nationalists in the EU elections, though wins for euroskeptic parties in Italy, France, Poland and would-be ex-member Britain, as well as snap elections in Greece and political turmoil in Austria, curbed risk appetite.

Italy’s dispute with the European Commission, however, emerged to dominate European trading as markets opened. The Commission could fine Italy 3 billion euros for accumulating debt and deficits that break EU rules, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday. It reopens the whole agenda of whether Salvini wants to be part of the euro or not, said Colin Harte, portfolio manager and strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

The danger is that the (dispute between Salvini and the EU) turns out to be more aggressive on both sides, then you will see people switch out of positions, Harte said. In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 66.29 points, or 0.26%, to 25,651.98, the S&P 500 gained 6.54 points, or 0.23%, to 2,832.6 and the Nasdaq Composite added 33.72 points, or 0.44%, to 7,670.72. —VoM

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