Stocks mixed amid trade salvos; Dollar advances

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Stocks were mixed Thursday, with U.S. equity-index futures edging higher as European shares slipped amid the tariff to-and-fro between Beijing and Washington. The Dollar gained, Treasuries ticked higher and crude oil hovered near a seven-week low.

S&P 500 index futures advanced as data showed first-time unemployment claims dropped last week, underscoring the health of the U.S. job market.

Energy majors led the decline in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index after Chinese stocks firmed earlier and Japanese shares dropped. Emerging-market currencies weakened for a second day, with Turkey’s Lira and Russia’s Ruble extending their slump as disputes with the U.S. deepened.

Geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and other countries are setting the tone for markets, with China responding to the Trump administration’s latest trade war volley with additional tariffs of its own.

The Ruble hit a two-year low after the U.S. announced new sanctions on Russia over the March 4 nerve-agent attack on a former double agent in the U.K.

Turkey’s Lira plunged to a record and bond yields climbed as a dispute over the detention of an American pastor dragged on.

Elsewhere, oil held steady after yesterday’s plunge sparked by China’s decision to slap 25 percent duties on U.S. imports including petroleum products. Most industrial metals gained and gold edged higher.

Amaka E. Nliam