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09-May2019

US markets end mostly lower on Wednesday

The US markets ended mostly lower on Wednesday as worries over US-China trade talks lingered. A notice in the Federal Register formally laid the groundwork to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10% early Friday, following through on remarks Monday by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer regarding such a move. The prospect of higher tariffs was first raised Sunday by President Donald Trump, rattling investors who had anticipated better progress toward a near-term resolution. Trump once again weighed in on the negotiations, saying that the Chinese are now coming to the US to make a deal, implying they had previously been slow-walking the negotiations in the hope that Trump would be voted out of office in 2020.

Meanwhile, Beijing has said top trade envoys, including Vice Premier Liu He, will head to Washington on Thursday to resume negotiations. China's diplomatic contingent had attempted to revamp a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement, as they were reluctant to agree to signing new trade terms into law, raising the ire of US negotiators. Besides,  adding to policy uncertainty, Iran said it may cease compliance with portions of a 2015 nuclear deal it signed with the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that it would begin stockpiling heavy water and low-enriched uranium unless non-US signatories take steps to shield the Iranian economy from Trump-administration sanctions that have been crippling its economy.

Nasdaq declined 20.44 points or 0.26 percent to 7943.32 and S&P 500 was down by 4.63 points or 0.16 percent to 2879.42, while Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2.24 points or 0.01 percent to 25967.33.


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