GLOBAL MARKETS-China stock rally steadies nerves, Russian rouble hammered

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-China stock rally steadies nerves, Russian rouble hammered
Credit: © Reuters.

* Asia share markets mixed, China up on stimulus hopes

* Sino-U.S. trade tensions keep mood cautious

* Oil prices steady after sliding 3 pct overnight

* Russian rouble slugged by sanctions, NZ dollar by dovish RBNZ

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Asian share markets found support on Thursday as a rally in Chinese stocks helped offset the latest escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade war, while Russia's rouble tumbled as the United States slapped fresh sanctions on the country.

Shanghai blue chips .CSI300 climbed 2.7 percent amid talk of possible government support for home-grown technology companies, just the latest in a series of growth boosting measures rolled out by Beijing as the trade dispute worsens. for more Chinese infrastructure spending also underpinned industrial resources including iron ore and copper .

The gains in Chinese stocks helped MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS reverse early losses to nudge up 0.5 percent.

The relief had yet to spread to Europe with financial spreadbetters tipping London's FTSE to open 8 points lower, Frankfurt's DAX 4 points down and Paris' CAC flat.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 slipped 0.2 percent, weighed in part by a shock slump in core machinery orders. in Mazda Motor Corp 7261.T , Suzuki Motor Corp 7269.T and Yamaha Motor Co 7272.T also fell on news they conducted improper fuel economy and emissions tests on their vehicles. will try to avert steep tariffs on its car exports and fend off U.S. demands for a free trade agreement at talks in Washington later in the session. on Thursday, China's state broadcaster said the country must counteract U.S. tariffs and that Beijing had the confidence to protect its own interests as well as the means to do so.

China had already announced additional tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of U.S. imports from fuel to autos. The tariffs will apply to billions of dollars in U.S. gasoline, diesel and other oil products, though not crude. oil market took the news hard on Wednesday, suffering losses of more than 3 percent. O/R

Prices steadied a little on Thursday, with U.S. crude CLcv1 edging up 12 cents to $67.08 per barrel, while Brent LCOcv1 bounced 24 cents to $72.52.

MORE SANCTIONS

In currency markets, the Russian rouble sank after Washington said it would impose fresh sanctions because it had determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain. were also reports of a new U.S. Senate bill that would impose widespread sanctions on Russia for election meddling.

The rouble duly slid to its lowest since late 2016, with the dollar buying 65.74 roubles RUB= having jumped 3.3 percent overnight. pound skidded to its lowest against the dollar and euro in almost a year as fears grew Britain might leave the EU without a deal on trade with Brussels. reported a significant increase in investors hedging against a 'no-deal' Brexit, an event which could send sterling into free fall and hurt the economy by raising trade barriers with Britain's biggest export market.

Sterling was last trading at $1.2881 GBP= , having dropped 0.4 percent overnight.

The Japanese yen seemed to be catching a bid as a traditional safe-haven, with the dollar easing to 110.95 yen JPY= after stretching as high as 111.44 on Wednesday.

The euro EUR= was relatively steady at $1.1610, while the dollar index .DXY was a shade firmer at 95.124.

The New Zealand dollar dropped 1.1 percent to a two-year trough at $0.6665 NZD=D3 after the country's central bank pledged to keep rates at record lows well into 2020. risk of rate moves over the next 12 months is weighted more towards cuts than hikes, and financial markets will price the risk accordingly," said Kiwibank chief economist, Jarrod Kerr.

"The good news here is interest rates and exchange rates will remain lower for much longer, assisting growth."

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ MSCI and Nikkei chart

http://reut.rs/2sSBRiD

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Editing by Joseph Radford and Sam Holmes)

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