European stocks close mixed as US-China trade row escalates

European stocks revealed a mixed picture at the market close on Thursday amid a deepening U.S.-China trade dispute and a flurry of corporate earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.09 percent higher at 390.05 with sectors pointing in different directions. Retail stocks rose during afternoon deals to close 1.3 percent higher, while the oil and gas sector was 0.8 percent lower amid growing geopolitical tensions.

The U.S. administration is to punish Russia with sanctions over the Kremlin’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England. According to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, the sanctions will go into effect on or around August 22.

China on Wednesday imposed additional tariffs of 25 percent on $ 16 billion worth of U.S. fuel and steel imports, in retaliation to planned extra duties from the U.S. on Chinese products set to be enforced from August 23.

Source: CNBC

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Feud Escalates Between NRA, New York Governor

A feud between New York’s governor and the National Rifle Association is escalating, with Governor Andrew Cuomo saying it’s “too bad” the NRA could be in financial trouble because his state pressured financial institutions to cut ties with the gun group.

In an amended version of a federal lawsuit filed in May, the NRA claims it lost insurance coverage after the state’s enforcement actions against companies underwriting an NRA-branded insurance program called “Carry Guard,” which provides liability insurance for policyholders involved in shooting incidents.

The lawsuit said the Cuomo administration was persuading other insurers to avoid doing business with the NRA. But Cuomo countered that Carry Guard is “designed for people who carry weapons, and the insurance policy essentially insured them for intentional bad acts, intentional wrongdoing.”

Cuomo said he sent a letter to other governors Monday, urging them to end the sale and marketing of the Carry Guard program in their states. “And if they think New York hurt their pocketbook, let’s see what happens when the other states also join in,” Cuomo told National Public Radio.

Cuomo also told CNN that he pleads “guilty” to accusations that he has long opposed the gun group.

The lawsuit asks the court to have the Cuomo administration stop its practices against the NRA, claiming that the policies have affected its finances to the point that it can’t maintain its offices, operate educational programs, or hold rallies and other political events.

Source : voanews

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HK stocks hit over 4-month low as Sino-U.S. trade spat escalates (Review)

Hong Kong stocks closed at their lowest in more than four months, tracking other Asian markets roiled by escalating China-U.S. trade frictions.

The Hang Seng index closed down 2.8 percent at 29,468.15, its lowest since early February, while the China Enterprises Index lost 3.2 percent to 11,492.77, its lowest in six months.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 10 percent tariff on $ 200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting a swift warning from Beijing of retaliation, as the trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies quickly escalated.

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