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Stocks Mixed on Tariff Outlook as EM Stabilizes

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Stocks were mixed as investors awaited the latest word on trade wars and key payroll data later Friday. Emerging market equities snapped seven days of declines while a gauge of currencies also rose.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged higher while U.S. equity futures were little changed, following a mostly negative session in Asia, where stocks were set for the worst week since March. Equities fell in Japan, South Korea and Australia, while those in China posted gains. Technology shares lagged behind, following their U.S. counterparts lower amid concern about the durability of chip demand. The dollar dipped ahead off a key U.S. payroll report on Friday, which will offer clues on the labor market’s health and the state of wage inflation. Treasuries were steady.

As angst over emerging markets simmers, investors are returning to old themes: trade spats and central banks. The Thursday deadline for public comment on proposed U.S. tariff hikes on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports came and went without any fresh announcement from Washington. Next up is the payroll report on Friday, which investors will watch with particular attention following dovish comments by New York Fed President John Williams on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Brazil’s stocks and the currency jumped after presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed during a street rally as traders bet that the attack will wind up creating sympathy for the candidate and help propel him into the second round of voting.

Main moves in markets:

Stocks

• The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed less than 0.05 percent as of 8:08 a.m. London time.

• Futures on the S&P 500 Index were unchanged.

• The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index increased less than 0.05 percent.

• Germany’s DAX Index gained 0.1 percent, the first advance in more than a week.

• The MSCI Emerging Market Index jumped 0.3 percent, the first advance in more than a week.

• The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 0.2 percent, reaching the lowest in a year on its seventh consecutive decline.

Currencies

• The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1 percent to the lowest in a week.

• The euro gained 0.2 percent to $1.1643.

• The British pound climbed 0.1 percent to $1.2943.

• The Japanese yen advanced 0.1 percent to 110.66 per dollar, the strongest in more than two weeks.

Bonds

• The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed one basis point to 2.88 percent.

• Germany’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 0.36 percent.

• Britain’s 10-year yield increased one basis point to 1.416 percent.

• Italy’s 10-year yield declined five basis points to 3.01 percent.

Commodities

• West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.3 percent to $67.94 a barrel, the largest gain in more than a week.

• Gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,199.35 an ounce.

Source: Bloomberg