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Global markets mixed, weighed by plunge in US tech stocks

SINGAPORE — Global markets were mixed on Tuesday as some traders clawed back losses led by technology stocks prompted by U.S. moves to gain an upper hand in trade with China.

KEEPING SCORE: European shares rose in early trading. Germany's DAX rose 0.5 per cent to 12,325.47 and France's CAC 40 added 0.4 per cent to 5,306.51. Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.5 per cent to 7,549.19. Wall Street is set for a mixed opening after broad losses in the technology sector. Dow futures gained less than 0.1 per cent to 24,285.00 and broader S&P 500 futures dipped under 0.1 per cent to 2,721.60.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose less than 0.1 per cent to 22,342.00 while South Korea's Kospi lost 0.3 per cent to 2,350.92. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3 per cent to 28,881.40 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China slipped 0.5 per cent to close at 2,844.51. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.2 per cent to 6,197.60. Taiwan's benchmark fell but Southeast Asian indexes were mostly higher.

TECH DOWNTURN: Stocks tumbled on reports that the Trump administration plans to limit exports of some high-tech products to China, and also limit investment in technology firms by companies with substantial Chinese ownership. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's suggestion that the investment restrictions wouldn't be limited to China caused stocks to slide further. The market recovered when Peter Navarro, one of President Donald Trump's top trade advisers, told CNBC that there was no plan for investment restrictions and that the administration's probe into alleged technology theft is limited to China. Tech stocks have been the pillar of Wall Street's long-running bull market. All but one of the 72 technology companies listed on the S&P 500 index closed lower Monday.

TRADE TENSIONS: U.S. efforts to secure a pole position in trade are seeing some hit back. Iconic American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson said it would move some production overseas to avoid tariffs the European Union is placing on motorcycles made in the U.S. Those tariffs were a response to taxes the U.S. placed on steel and aluminum from Europe. Harley-Davidson shares plunged 6.0 per cent to $41.57 on Monday. In less than two weeks, fresh tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China on each other will also kick in. A 25 per cent tariff will be imposed by the U.S. on billions of dollars of Chinese products. In response, China will raise import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods. China and the European Union agreed on Monday to launch a group that will, among other things, try to preserve support for international trade amid U.S. threats of import controls.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Fears that China may pull investments in U.S. tech firms have caused a broad drawback. There is a sense that trade tensions could be long drawn and somewhat more antagonistic going forward," said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and macro strategy at Mizuho Bank.

ENERGY: OPEC countries have agreed to raise the supply of crude oil by 1 million barrels a day. But investors aren't sure if the cartel will carry it out. Benchmark U.S. crude gained 30 cents to $68.38 per barrel in New York. It dipped 0.7 per cent to settle at $68.08 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 43 cents to $74.98 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.65 yen from 109.45 in late trading Monday. The euro weakened to $1.1675 from $1.1704.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report.

Annabelle Liang, The Associated Press