BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Europe and Asia on Wednesday after the U.S. followed through with plans to put higher tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese exports.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent to 7,737.56. In Germany, the DAX slipped 0.1 percent to 12,636.05 and the French CAC 40 lost less than 0.1 percent to 5,518.64. The future contract for the Dow edged 0.03 percent higher to 25,607.00 while that of the S&P 500 was flat at 2,859.50.

THE DAY IN ASIA: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains to fall 0.1 percent to 22,644.31 and the Shanghai Composite index fell 1.3 percent to 2,744.07. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent to 28,359.14. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 climbed 0.2 percent to 6,268.50 while South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1 percent higher to 2,301.45. India’s Sensex climbed 0.4 percent to 37,802.19. Shares rose in Thailand but fell in Indonesia and Singapore.

TESLA: Tesla surged after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had invested in the company and CEO Elon Musk later said he might take the company private. Musk, who owns about 20 percent of Tesla’s stock, said he had not made a decision about taking the company private but such a move would make it easier for Tesla to focus on long-term goals. Musk said he would pay $420 a share, well above Tesla’s all-time high from September. The stock gained 11 percent to $379.57.

TRADE MOVES: The U.S. Trade Representative announced it will begin imposing 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports beginning Aug. 23. The list is heavy on industrial products such as steam turbines and iron girders. So far, the tariffs that the U.S. and its trading partners have announced recently are still small and haven’t affected the broader market very much. China reported Wednesday that its exports to the U.S. rose 13.3 percent year-on-year in July while total exports jumped 12.2 percent.

CHINA TOWER IPO: Shares in the state-owned monopoly that operates China’s vast network of mobile phone towers are flat as the company makes its stock market debut in Hong Kong after raising $6.9 billion from investors. China Tower Corp. closed at 1.26 Hong Kong dollars (16 U.S. cents) per share, unchanged from its initial public offering price of 1.26 Hong Kong dollars (16 U.S. cents). China Tower says it operates 1.9 million cell tower sites across China, the biggest mobile phone market. It has given no indication of plans to expand abroad.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil picked up 6 cents to $69.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 16 cents to $69.17 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, rose 2 cents to $74.67 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 110.96 yen from 111.37 yen. The euro fell to $1.1591 from $1.1599.

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Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, August 8:

1. Chinese Exports Accelerate Even As Trump Escalates Trade War

China’s exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. tariffs, while its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world’s two major economic powers ramped up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.

The data provided the first readings of the overall trade picture for the world’s second-largest economy since U.S duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect on July 6.

China’s July exports rose 12.2% from a year earlier, beating forecasts for a 10% increase, and up from a 11.2% gain in June.

Imports also rose much faster in July, jumping 27.3%, thanks to still solid domestic demand.

Of more direct consequence in the Sino-U.S. trade war, China’s surplus with the U.S. shrank only marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June.

In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25% tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on August 23.

2. U.S. Stock Futures Point To Flat Open

U.S. stock futures pointed to a muted open, as trade concerns continued to linger and investors focused on the latest batch of corporate earnings.

At 5:30AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up just 4 points, or less than 0.1%. The S&P 500 futures and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures also indicated a flat start to their respective trading sessions.

Stocks rose on Tuesday, as the S&P 500 moved closer to a record high set earlier this year, boosted by strong corporate earnings.

Elsewhere, in Europe, the region’s major bourses were mostly lower in mid-morning trade, with most sectors in the red, as corporate earnings failed to lift sentiment.

Britain’s FTSE was the standout gainer, getting a boost from a broadly weaker pound, which sank to 11-month lows against the dollar and euro.

Earlier, in Asia, stocks in the region closed mixed, with China losing steam after rebounding in the last session, as investors reacted to the latest salvo in the U.S.-China trade dispute.

3. Last Major Wave Of U.S. Earnings

Dozens of companies are expected to release earnings today in one of the last big waves of the earnings season.

Ahead of the opening bell, results are due from CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), Keurig Dr Pepper (NYSE:KDP), Liberty Media (NASDAQ:FWONA), Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL), New York Times (NYSE:NYT), Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI), Lumentum (NASDAQ:LITE), Autohome (NYSE:ATHM), Weibo (NASDAQ:WB), and SINA (NASDAQ:SINA).

Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU), Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG), 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOX), Yelp (NYSE:YELP), Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST), TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT), and Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) report after the market close.

 

Other stocks that will likely be in focus today include, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), which soared 11% on Wednesday after Chief Executive Elon Musk said he was considering taking the electric car maker private.

Snap (NYSE:SNAP), Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Papa John’s (NASDAQ:PZZA) will also capture some attention, with all three set for a volatile session in the wake of earnings updates released after Tuesday’s closing bell.

4. Oil Markets Await Fresh Weekly U.S. Inventory Data

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended August 3 at 10:30AM ET, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of 3.3 million barrels.

The data will also offer fresh indications on domestic output levels.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories declined by 6 million barrels last week.

Oil prices were little changed ahead of the data, with U.S. WTI crude futures at $69.17 per barrel, while London-traded Brent crude futures were at $74.61 per barrel.

5. Cryptos Collapse On Delayed ETF Decision

Cryptocurrencies plunged, with Bitcoin tumbling below $6,500 for the first time since July, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission postponed a decision on whether to allow the listing of an exchange-traded fund backed by the largest digital currency.

The SEC now has until September 30 to “approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove” a proposed rule change from Cboe Global Markets Inc. that would allow the listing of a fund from VanEck Associates Corp. and SolidX Partners Inc. to list, the regulator said in a statement.

An initial deadline was due to expire next week.

Bitcoin was last down around 8%, or $560, at $6,478.70 on the Bitfinex exchange, a level last seen on July 16.

Rival tokens also fell.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was down almost 11% at $367.70, its worst level since April 6.

Meanwhile, Ripple‘s XRP token was trading at $0.34699, down 15% for the day, while Litecoin was down 12.5% at $65.21.