Financial markets are enduring further turmoil after the arrest of a Chinese Huawei executive on behalf of the US exacerbated fears over the countries’ trade war.
Shares in Asia sank after news emerged that Canadian authorities had detained the mobile phone and tech firm’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, from where she is facing extradition.
The arrest is believed to be related to alleged violations of US sanctions though there has been no official statement from Washington.
Traders said the development smashed hopes surrounding the trade war ceasefire announced by President Trump after talks with his Chinese counterpart at the weekend.
Investors had initially reacted positively but Tuesday trading saw a massive sell-off in on Wall Street as the market pondered whether the truce was being over-played.
Some element of calm was restored in Asia on Wednesday after supportive comments from Beijing – its first reaction to hopes a new trade agreement between the US and China could be reached within a 90-day deadline.
But news of Ms Meng’s detention spooked sentiment on Thursday – leaving European and US markets on course for steep falls at the open.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index earlier lost 2.7% while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 2.5%.
The Shanghai Composite index in China dropped 1.7% as the country’s government demanded her immediate release.
Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, responded: “Traders have quickly moved out of riskier assets reflecting nerves that the arrest is likely to escalate tensions between the US and China once again.
“The timing of the arrest is key here. Markets are already incredibly nervous over slowing economic growth thanks to the inverted US yield curve.
“Relations between the US and China were supposed to be on the mend after a productive G20.
“However, the arrest has the potential to shatter very fragile US – Sino relations which will weigh further on global trade and growth concerns.
“It looks as though, despite recent heavy selloffs, the bottom is not in sight and the markets have further to fall.
“The big swings of late are representative of a very jittery market,” he concluded.
NASA invites Stephen Curry to tour its lunar lab after NBA star claims moon landings were faked
NASA has offered a top US basketball player a tour of its lunar lab after he claimed the moon landings were faked.
Stephen Curry, regarded by many as one of the best shooters in NBA history, made the comments in the Winging It podcast on Monday.
During the episode, Curry’s teammate Andre Iguodala asked the basketball player and presenters Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore if they believed the moon landings were real.
All three of them replied “no”.
In an apparent reference to Men In Black-style secret agents, Curry added: “They’re going to come and get us.
“Sorry I don’t want to start conspiracies.”
Another guest on the show Annie Finberg, a digital content coordinator for the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, then asked him to clarify.
Curry, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, confirmed that he did not believe the US had ever landed on the moon.
The group then had a short discussion about popular conspiracy theories, including one that the film director Stanley Kubrick staged the whole thing.
NASA in fact led six missions that put 12 astronauts on the moon between 1969 and 1972.
Allard Beutel, a spokesman from the space agency, told the New York Times: “We’d love for Mr Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets.
“We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there, and the Apollo mission control.
“During his visit, he can see firsthand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay.”
Curry is far from alone when it comes to denying the legitimacy of the moon landings.
DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles shocked viewers of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! when he claimed the lunar expeditions were faked.
EU risks bank crisis from ‘no-deal’ Brexit, say UK officials
UK officials have been warning EU27 nations that a “no-deal” Brexit places a high risk of financial disruption to their banks, Sky News understands.
It forms part of a move seen by some close observers as a perceived form of attempted leverage over the Brexit negotiation.
Dozens of banks, including some of Europe’s biggest in Germany and France, have complex outstanding financial contracts, known as derivatives, notionally worth tens of trillions of pounds, operated through the City of London.
The bulk of them will mature after March 2019.
Sky sources say that the names of specific EU mega-banks especially exposed to and reliant on UK cleared derivatives have been mentioned in discussions.
Last month, the Bank of England warned there was high risk of disruption to the EU financial system from both “cleared” and “uncleared” derivatives markets, while it said risks to the UK itself were low and declining.
The European Commission has acted on some concerns to say it will temporarily continue to recognise UK “central counterparties” even after a no-deal Brexit.
But officials have warned that the lack of detail means that contracts need to be closed or transferred from the UK before March 2019, a process that needs to start this month, now that the deal has not passed the House of Commons.
Furthermore, the European Commission indicated to the Bank of England that risks from “uncleared” derivatives would not be dealt with at EU level, and was being left to individual EU nations to handle.
In a recent report, the Bank of England concluded: “The movement of a large volume of contracts in a short time frame would be costly to, and disrupt the derivatives positions of, EU businesses and could strain capacity in the derivatives market.”
An EU source told Sky News: “We have not dealt with it yet but we have the mechanisms.”
The European Commission is waiting to ramp up no-deal preparations at the EU summit this week.
Sky News understands an emergency implementing act is being prepared for the EU Council and Parliament to consider as soon as next week.
One dead in French Christmas market shooting
One person has died and three people are seriously injured after shots were fired at a Christmas market in Strasbourg.
Just after 7pm on Tuesday gun shots were heard at the market in Place Kleber, in the centre of the city in eastern France.
Police armed with machine guns were seen running into the square moments later and it was evacuated.
Emmanuel Foulon, a press officer for the European Parliament, which is based in the city, said there was panic and everyone got to the ground in restaurants around the square.
Politics1 week ago
President Trump, first lady Melania Trump to attend Bush funeral
Latest News7 days ago
America’s Next Top Model star Jael Strauss dies from cancer aged 34
World4 days ago
Trump rages at Russia investigation as Mueller drops new information
Politics1 week ago
China aims to boost economic ties with Germany in Trump era
Latest News1 week ago
Senior Taliban commander killed in US drone strike in Afghanistan
Politics1 week ago
Embattled Florida election official Brenda Snipes rescinds resignation
World7 days ago
Uber India tops $1.6 billion in annual bookings, according to email
Politics1 week ago
Lying to Congress can be a crime