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Global Markets: Stocks sag, bonds supported as simmering trade woes curb risk appetite

Reuters  |  TOKYO 

By Shinichi Saoshiro

(Reuters) - Stock markets sagged broadly on Thursday while government bonds attracted safe-haven demand amid mounting investor concerns that growing trade tensions would hurt the global economy.

MSCI's broadest index of shares outside <.MIAPJ0000PUS> slipped 0.05 percent.

The Asian markets took their cues from Wall Street shares, which fell for the third straight session overnight after U.S. sought to impose fresh tariffs on China, intensifying fears of a trade war.

, seen to be particularly vulnerable to retaliation from U.S. trade partners, fell 2.5 percent, leading the losers on the Dow <.DJI>.

Equity market losses were widespread, with the pan-European index <.FTEU3> shedding 0.14 percent overnight and MSCI's global stock index <.MIWD00000PUS> losing 0.46 percent.

Australian stocks <.AXJO> fell 0.35 percent, South Korea's <.KS11> lost 0.15 percent and Japan's Nikkei <.N225> was down 0.15 percent.

"The equity market has been holding up relatively well, but it will have to decline some more if U.S. shares deepen their losses," said Yutaka Miura, at in

"Bargain hunters buy steadily at price dips, but most participants are wary of chasing highs amid lingering uncertainty about trade and politics."

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was steady at 2.818 percent having declined for the third straight day overnight amid rising diplomatic tension between Britain and Russia, soft U.S. and concerns over Washington's political and trade issues.

The spectre of a trade war also boosted demand for European debt, with the German 10-year bund yield declining to a 1-1/2-month low of 0.583 percent. Yields on British gilts and bonds also fell.

In the currency market, the dollar was steady after managing to drift higher the previous day following three sessions of losses.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies <.DXY> was flat at 89.700.

The euro was little changed at $1.2376 after pulling back from a six-day high of $1.2413 after on Wednesday struck a dovish tone regarding monetary policy.

Against the yen, the dollar slipped 0.2 percent to 106.140 after taking a hit the previous day on Trump's firing of U.S.

U.S. crude futures extended gains to rise 0.25 percent to $61.10 per barrel. Brent added 0.2 percent to $65.02 per barrel .

Crude was lifted the previous day after data showed a bigger-than-expected fall in U.S. refined product inventories with gasoline demand rising to a seven-month high.

(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Sam Holmes)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 15 2018. 06:16 IST