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International markets roundup

NEW YORK: Technology stocks led Wall Street's rebound on Monday as fears over a potential trade war were calmed following reports the US and China are willing to renegotiate tariffs and trade imbalances.

The rally comes on the heels last week's losses by the three major stock indexes, which was their worst weekly performance since January 2016.

Last week's drop was fuelled in part by tensions surrounding President Donald Trump's move to levy tariffs on up to $US60 billion ($A77.5 billion) in Chinese imports, in addition to those imposed on solar panels, steel and aluminum.

But tensions eased as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang repeated pledges to maintain trade negotiations and ease access to American businesses.

"Over the weekend there was some indication that maybe the tariff deal with China was less onerous than previously thought," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

"The reality is that there probably isn't a trade war, as evidenced by the fact that there's discussion going on between China and the US to work these things out."

At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 669.40 points, or 2.84 per cent, to 24,202.60, the S&P 500 gained 70.29 points, or 2.72 per cent, to 2,658.55 and the Nasdaq Composite added 227.88 points, or 3.26 per cent, to 7,220.54.

Microsoft pulled the indexes higher, Morgan Stanley upped its price target on the tech giant's stock, saying its market value could hit $us1 trillion on improved margins and growth in cloud computing.

LONDON: British shares fell on Monday, reversing earlier gains and joining a broader pull-back in Europe where diplomatic tensions with Russia helped more than offset easing trade war fears.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.48 per cent to 6.888.7 points, its lowest closing level in 15 months and staying below the key 7,000 points mark for the third day running.

On the mainland, Germany's DAX was down 0.8 per cent, while the French stock market fell 0.6 per cent.

The FTSE index had earlier risen as much as 0.5 per cent following a report that the US has contacted China seeking measures to reduce their trade imbalance.

Then the United States said it would expel 60 Russian diplomats, joining governments across Europe punishing the Kremlin for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that they have blamed on Moscow.

Strength in the pound, which rose against the US dollar on growing confidence that the Bank of England would raise interest rates in May, also did not help.

TOKYO: Asian shares were hammered again on Monday as fears of a trade war between the United States and China took their toll, but the safe haven yen came off its highs.

The United States agreed to exempt South Korea from steel tariffs, imposing instead a quota on steel imports as the two countries renegotiate their trade deal.

The positive headlines were little consolation for Asian shares which were left nursing their wounds.

Japan's Nikkei trimmed early losses but were still down 0.7 percent. Chinese shares declined about 0.6 percent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.4 percent for its fourth consecutive day in the red.

WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX 50 index on Monday fell 82.94 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 8,432.41.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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