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Stock markets steady, oil slips after Trump slams OPEC

Youkyung Lee, AP Business Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Global stock markets were subdued Friday amid worries over trade and after a major supplier to Apple forecast continued weak demand for mobile devices. Futures for crude oil fell after U.S. President Donald Trump slammed OPEC for keeping prices high.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent to 7,357 and Germany's DAX down 0.2 percent to 12,539. France's CAC 40 gained 0.4 percent to 5,413. Futures indicated a weak start on Wall Street. S&P were flat and Dow futures fell 0.1 percent.

TRUMP ON OPEC: Trump said in a tweet that oil-producing cartel OPEC "is at it again," and that efforts to maintain high prices "will not be accepted!" The outburst comes as representatives from OPEC nations and allied oil ministers were meeting in Saudi Arabia to discuss their agreement to maintain cuts to production to keep prices up. Trump said the prices were "artificially" high and that will not be accepted, though it was unclear what, if any, action he might be referring to.

OIL: After trading higher initially, the benchmark U.S. crude contract was down 46 cents to $67.83 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 49 cents to $73.29 per barrel in London.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian stocks finished lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 finished 0.1 percent lower at 22,162.24, shedding early gains. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,476.33 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.9 percent to 30,418.33. The Shanghai Composite Index slumped 1.5 percent to 3,071.54. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 retreated 0.2 percent to 5,868.80. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia also declined.

APPLE SUPPLIERS: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plunged 6.3 percent in Taiwan after the key Asian Apple supplier gave a lower-than-expected revenue forecast for the second quarter of $7.8 billion-$7.9 billion. The company predicted demand in the mobile sector would remain weak. Other Apple suppliers also traded lower. South Korea's LG Display Co. lost 1.2 percent and Samsung Electronics Co., tumbled 2.2 percent.

TRADE: The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is urging countries to work out their differences over trade and take advantage of the healthy world economy to reduce debt before the next downturn comes. Speaking as the IMF and World Bank began their spring meeting, Lagarde warned against complacency: "More needs to be done to sustain this upswing and foster long-term growth," she said.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.56 yen from 107.38 yen and the euro fell to $1.2312 from $1.2345. The pound fell to $1.4053 from $1.4082 after the Bank of England's governor cast some doubts about the possibility of a rate increase next month.