US stocks erased early losses prompted by renewed trade fears as gains in megacap technology shares left major benchmarks little changed. Oil slumped and Treasuries rose.
The S&P 500 Index was flat after a four-day advance as Washington and Beijing set dates for new levies on billions in goods. Trading was 20 percent below average. Tech and bank shares buoyed stock measures, while energy producers led losses after crude slipped below $68 a barrel. Walt Disney Co. dropped on its results. Canada’s dollar was unchanged and stocks edged higher after Saudi Arabia was said to begin selling the nation’s assets as part of a diplomatic dispute.
Traders remain on edge as global trade tensions welled up again, with the US saying it will begin imposing 25 percent duties on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports in two weeks, and the Asian country saying it’s set to retaliate. Exports from the second-biggest economy grew faster than expected in July and imports surged, signaling the spat has yet to take the toll on shipments that it has on equities.
While the dollar and yen strengthened, the pound hit its lowest against the euro since September as traders sought protection against a no-deal Brexit. Treasury yields held steady before the biggest-ever 10-year note auction. Italian bonds outperformed as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reassured markets.
The ruble fell the most since May and Russian stocks and bonds tumbled after local media published the full text of a US bill seeking “crushing sanctions” for election meddling.
Elsewhere, Turkey’s lira erased most of Tuesday’s gains as investors said there’s no easy way to rescue its financial markets. Bitcoin tumbled, leading a sell-off in digital coins of all sizes, as a cryptocurrency market gauge dropped to its lowest level since November.
Samsung Electronics is set to unveil its next Galaxy Note smartphone on Thursday. US consumer prices probably rose in July from June, consistent with a pickup in inflation that’s projected to keep the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest-rate increases, economists forecast before Friday’s release. The US was expected to sell $26 billion of 2028 notes on Wednesday, eclipsing the previous record auction of $25 billion of 10-year Treasuries, first set in 2009.
The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent to 2,859.37 in New York. The index is within 1 percent of an all-time high. The Nasdaq 100 Index added 0.3 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by 0.1 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2 percent in New York. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 0.1 percent.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat. The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.1593. The Canadian dollar slipped 0.1 percent.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell less than one basis point to 2.97 percent. Germany’s 10-year yield fell less than one basis point to 0.403 percent. Britain’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 1.319 percent.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell 0.2 percent. Gold futures lost 0.1 percent to $1,217.60 an ounce.