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World shares withdraw after Trump approves Hong Kong's bill

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Global stock markets fell on Thursday after President Trump signed a human rights bill in Hong Kong, which could increase tensions while the US and China talk about ending their trade war. However, trade volumes were muted with the US closed for Thanksgiving.

China reacted indignantly to the legislation, which Congress passed with overwhelming support. Beijing called on US ambassador Terry Branstad for a dress and issued several statements that threatened unspecified countermeasures.

In Hong Kong, where sometimes violent protests dragged on for nearly six months, the Hang Seng index lost 0.2% to 26,893.73. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.5% to 2,889.69.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 in Great Britain fell by 0.4% to 7,402 and the CAC 40 in Paris gave 0.3% to 5,908. The DAX of Germany fell by 0.4% to 13,235.

US futures were modestly lower, with contracts for both the industrial average of Dow Jones and the 500 of the Standard & Poor & # 39; s losing 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. US markets remain closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and open half a day on Friday.

Trump's move did not come as a surprise, given the pressure from both Democratic and Republican legislators to support the legislation. But it is unclear whether human rights law, which Beijing regards as & # 39; interference & # 39; with China's internal affairs, could derail recent progress in trade negotiations with Washington.

"We urge the US not to stay on the wrong track, otherwise China will take countermeasures and the US must bear all the consequences," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Markets seemed to be triggering developments, said Stephen Innes of AxiTrader, "assuming that US legislation is unlikely to topple phase 1, but it naturally provides a strong reminder that China frictions will always be a thorn in the eyes of the markets . "

The central question in China-US trade negotiations is whether they will be able to reach a deal before December 15, when new rates are set for many Chinese products, including smartphones and laptops.

There is increasing pressure on both sides to finalize a limited “phase 1” agreement before the deadline, although the Trump government could postpone it, as it did in October, to allow more time for talks.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 index lost 0.1% to 23,409.14 while the Kospi in Seoul lost 0.4% to 2,118.60. The S&P ASX 200 of Australia increased by 0.2% to 6,864.00. The Indian Sensex added 0.1% to 41,059.51.

On Wednesday, investors covered a day of light trading on Wall Street by serving a new series of record highs. The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq closed on the highest points for the third consecutive day.

The crude oil benchmark lost 22 cents to $ 57.89 a barrel in e-commerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 30 cents on Wednesday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gave up 12 cents to $ 62.89 per barrel.

The dollar fell to 109.50 Japanese yen from 109.54 yen on Wednesday. The euro was stable at $ 1,1007.

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