World Bulletin / News Desk
Global stocks diverged Wednesday before top-level talks between the United States and the European Union on resolving a simmering trade dispute that has left investors on edge.
Oil prices rose following a report by the American Petroleum Institute showing a decline in US crude inventories.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was heading to Washington on Wednesday to meet US President Donald Trump in an attempt avert an escalation of tariffs.
Equities stabilised in Europe after slim pickings in Asia, with all eyes on Wall Street's reopening ahead of the critical talks due at about 1730 GMT.
"With escalating trade tensions between the European Union and the United States still a key theme that continues to weigh on global sentiment, the outcome of today's meeting could leave a lasting impact on the markets," noted analyst Lukman Otunuga at traders FXTM.
"Market players should be prepared to expect the unexpected from the talks, especially when considering how highly unpredictable the Trump administration can be."
In addition to slapping hefty import taxes on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada and Mexico, Trump has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products, drawing a retaliatory response from Beijing.
Washington has since threatened tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods.
Beijing on Monday signalled that it would shift to a looser fiscal policy in a bid to protect the world's second largest economy from the impact of the row.
The announcement sent Shanghai's main stock index up 1.6 percent on Tuesday, while the yuan hit a 13-month low versus the US dollar.Last Mod: 25 Temmuz 2018, 13:32