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Stocks slump on China exec arrest, trade truce fears

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Stocks slump on China exec arrest, trade truce fears

Stocks slump on China exec arrest, trade truce fears

Global stock markets slumped for a third day running on Thursday as the arrest of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Canada for extradition to the United States fed fears of fresh tensions between the two economic superpowers.

David Pollard reports.

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Stocks slump on China exec arrest, trade truce fears

Asia's markets felt the shock news of the arrest first.

Japan's Nikkei and China's bluechips both ending two per cent down ... Only for Europe to follow with a two-year low.

The detention in Vancouver of Huawei's chief financial officer - and the daughter of its founder - a potential gamechanger not just for her .... But for the China-US trade war truce declared on Saturday - the day of the arrest.

SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, AXITRADER, SAYING: "The tensions are still there.

And it just worries that at the end of this 90-day truce, if we're not in in not moved on in any way, then the tariffs come back in, the trade war starts again.

And of course the US probably escalates them further." Sources say the arrest is related to violations of US sanctions.

China wants clarity on that - and is demanding a release.

Though the focus is also on a battered tech sector.

ZTE - China's second-largest telco equipment maker - slumped over nine per cent in Hong Kong trading ... And shares in Asian suppliers to Huawei tumbled.

All eyes too on Wall Street - where Qualcomm and Intel are among foreign suppliers.

Softbank suffered with a six per cent drop.

Ahead of its IPO, it reported a major wipeout - traders also note it's partnered with Huawei on 5G projects .... Tech and intellectual property, they say, are a new battle front.

SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, AXITRADER, SAYING: "We heard discussion and comment the last couple of weeks that China hadn't been changing any of their approaches in terms of intellectual property and technology transfer, and in fact the U.S. had described them making matters worse in those areas." Right now, the Chinese firm itself could take the biggest hit.

News of the arrest came just as Britain's BT said it was removing Huawei equipment from part of its networks.

Australia and New Zealand have rejected its equipment on concerns over Chinese government involvement in mobile infrastructure.

Meng Wanzhou, meanwhile, waits for Friday.

The day when a Canadian court must decide to extradite her to the US, or not.




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