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Dollar, global stocks slip amid trade deal uncertainty

By Herbert Lash
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar slid and global equity markets fell on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks over the weekend suggested an end to the trade war with China was still not in sight, dashing recent investor optimism.

Moody's warning on Britain's sovereign debt weighed on shares in London, while escalating violence in Hong Kong led Asian equities to post their worst day since August, boosting demand for the safe-haven yen and gold.

Trump said on Saturday that the U.S.-Sino trade talks were moving along "very nicely" but more slowly than he would have liked. He also said there had been incorrect reporting about U.S. willingness to lift tariffs.

U.S. and Chinese officials last week said the two countries had agreed to roll back tariffs already in place in a "phase one" trade deal.

The 16-month trade war between the world's largest economies has slowed global growth. Data over the weekend showed that China's producer prices fell the most in more than three years in October, underscoring the trade war's impact.

"It's difficult to say who stands to lose more from this deal falling apart, but this last-minute jostling does not inspire confidence," said Craig Erlang, senior market analyst at PANDA Corp.

"We swing from optimism to pessimism on a daily basis and never feel any the wiser," Erlang said.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.31%, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares fell 0.04%.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 107.78 points, or 0.39%, to 27,573.46. The S&P 500 lost 9.72 points, or 0.31%, to 3,083.36 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.55 points, or 0.22%, to 8,456.76.

The U.S. dollar, which often acts as a safe-haven asset when political and economic uncertainty reins, was lower against the yen and the Swiss franc, other traditional safe havens.

The dollar index fell 0.15%, with the euro up 0.14% to $1.1032. The yen strengthened 0.12% versus the greenback at 109.11 per dollar, while the dollar was 0.28% weaker against the franc, at 0.9944 per dollar.

Oil prices were mixed.

Brent crude rose 17 cents at $62.68 a barrel. U.S. crude fell 2 cents at $57.22 a barrel.

A sell=off in southern European bond markets gathered pace and pushed yields higher, with the inconclusive election in Spain adding to uncertainty among debt investors.

Government bond markets across the single-currency bloc have been hurt in recent weeks by optimism over a U.S.-China trade deal and improving economic data.

U.S. Treasury markets were closed for the Veterans Day holiday.







(Reporting by Herbert Lash, additional reporting by Kate Duguid in New York)