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April 6, 2018, 4:40 p.m. EDT

FTSE 100 ends lower amid Trump’s latest tough talk on trade

But blue-chips stocks are still at best levels this month

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


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U.K. stocks on Friday closed lower, but still managed to produce a sharp weekly gain, after U.S. President Donald Trump fired off another salvo in the tit-for-tat trade spat with China, and U.S. jobs data fell short of expectations.

The pullback, which comes on the heels of the best day for London stocks since the Brexit vote in June 2016, follows a White House announcement that the U.S. is considering another $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

How markets are moving

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -3.38% slipped 0.2% to 7,183.64, still enough to register a 1.8% gain for the week. That is the benchmark’s second straight weekly rise and its largest two-week rally, up 3.8%, since the period ended Dec. 16, 2016, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

On Thursday, the London benchmark surged 2.4% and marked its best daily point and percentage advance since June 29, 2016, when stocks rallied after the Brexit vote.

On Wall Street, U.K. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -1.84%  ended nearly 600 points lower, in part due to heightened trade tensions and fresh jobs data that came out ahead of the open.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.8050% rose to $1.4035, compared with $1.4004 late Thursday in New York.

What’s driving markets

U.K. stocks are putting up some resistance to the latest in trade hostilities between the U.S. and China, which appears to be pulling U.S. stocks sharply lower as investors shrink from risk.

In a statement released by the White House on Thursday, Trump said he has instructed the U.S. Trade representative to look at the possibility of imposing tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese goods.

The move escalates a tense situation in which the U.S. and China have each proposed levies on $50 billion in imports from the other.

Stock markets, including in London, have been volatile as investors swing from optimism to pessimism and back again over the prospect of a full-blown trade war.

Click to Play

Three Ways Washington Is Weighing Down the Markets

Fears about a trade war with China, the prospect of new tech rules and Trump's attacks on Amazon are dragging on the markets, outweighing optimism about tax cuts and deregulation. WSJ's Gerald F. Seib explains.

Stock movers

Mining stocks reversed some of Thursday’s big gains, as China is a big buyer of industrial and precious metals. Copper for May delivery fell 1.6 cents, or 0.5%, to $3.0585 a pound.

Among big commodity names, Glencore PLC /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN -4.13%  shed 2.1%, Rio Tinto PLC /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -4.38%   /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO -4.05%  slipped 2.4%, and BHP Billiton PLC /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -3.27%   dropped 1.5%.

Retailers were under some pressure after they were reportedly downgraded by Citigroup. Marks & Spencer Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/206225481/delayed UK:MKS -5.64%  shares lost 1.8%, while Next PLC /zigman2/quotes/200704121/delayed UK:NXT -5.12%  shares were closed down 1%.

Adding support to the index, Shire Pharmaceuticals PLC   shares rose less than 0.1% on a report that Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. /zigman2/quotes/201302442/delayed JP:4502 +0.99%  is considering taking full control of its Irish rival.

Economic data

U.K. labor productivity increased at the according to the second half of 2005 , said the Office for National Statistics on Friday.

Data showed the U.S. created 103,000 new jobs in March to mark the smallest gain since last fall, even though the latest report on employment still shows the tightest labor market in nearly two decades. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a gain of 170,000 nonfarm jobs. Average wages rose 8 cents, or 0.3%, to $26.82 an hour.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday backed a “patient” approach to raising interest rates. “The FOMC’s patient approach has paid dividends and contributed to the strong economy we have today,” Powell said, in a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago.

—Mark DeCambre contributed to this article

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
5,804.29
-202.76 -3.38%
Volume: 970,186
Sept. 21, 2020 4:55p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,147.70
-509.72 -1.84%
Volume: 518.64M
Sept. 21, 2020 4:20p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.2815
-0.0104 -0.8050%
Volume: 0.0000
Sept. 21, 2020 4:24p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
173.14 p
-7.46 -4.13%
Volume: 27.03M
Sept. 21, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£21.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
£1.04M
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/zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 61.60
-2.82 -4.38%
Volume: 2.61M
Sept. 21, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
13.93
Dividend Yield
6.27%
Market Cap
$108.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
$852,406
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/zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
4,804.00 p
-203.00 -4.05%
Volume: 2.40M
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P/E Ratio
13.72
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6.19%
Market Cap
£83.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 52.92
-1.79 -3.27%
Volume: 2.53M
Sept. 21, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.87
Dividend Yield
4.54%
Market Cap
$129.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/206225481/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
104.50 p
-6.25 -5.64%
Volume: 9.24M
Sept. 21, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
67.42
Dividend Yield
3.73%
Market Cap
£2.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200704121/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
5,934.00 p
-320.00 -5.12%
Volume: 720,491
Sept. 21, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
23.14
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£7.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201302442/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,989.00
+39.00 +0.99%
Volume: 4.48M
Sept. 18, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
59.07
Dividend Yield
4.51%
Market Cap
¥6235.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥65.40M
loading...

Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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