Hong Kong Financial Markets

A woman looks at an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Shares were moderately lower in Asia on Wednesday following a bloodletting on Wall Street as goodwill generated by a truce between the U.S. and China over trade evaporated in confusion over exactly what the two sides had agreed upon. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

BEIJING — Global stock prices fell Wednesday, though not as much as Wall Street the day before, amid confusion about what the U.S. and China agreed to in a tariff cease-fire.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 index fell 1.4 percent to close at 6,921.84 and German’s DAX lost 1.2 percent to 11,200.24. France’s CAC 40 retreated 1.4 percent to 4,944.37. U.S. stock trading was closed to mourn the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

ASIA’S DAY: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.6 percent to 26,819.58 and the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.6 percent to 2,649.81. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.5 percent to 21,919.33 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.8 percent to 5,668.40. Seoul’s Kospi gave up 0.8 percent to 2,101.31 and India’s Sensex was 0.6 percent lower at 35,902.74.

TRADE QUESTIONS: Investor confidence in the U.S.-China agreement faltered after confusing and conflicting comments from President Donald Trump and some senior officials. That revived fears the disagreement between the world’s two biggest economies could slow global growth. Trump previously said the agreement would lead to sales of American farm goods and cuts in Chinese auto tariffs, but Beijing has yet to confirm that. Trump renewed threats of tariff hikes on Tuesday, saying on Twitter that Washington would have a “real deal” with China or else would charge “major tariffs” on Chinese goods. That cast further doubt on the weekend agreement.

FED WATCH: Markets also got a jolt from remarks by the president of the Fed’s New York regional bank. John Williams said that given his outlook for strong economic growth, he expects “further gradual increases in interest rates will best sponsor a sustained economic expansion.”

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