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Trade war woes linger on global markets

After a solid start, the yuan ran out of steam against the dollar in later Asian trading

World stock markets traded sideways Monday as trade war fears continued to hamper investor sentiment, dealers said.

Key eurozone markets Frankfurt and Paris reversed early small gains to close flat to lower, while the British pound's weakness kept London stocks in slightly positive territory.

On Wall Street, the Dow was little changed approaching midday in New York "as escalated trade tensions between China and the US continue to curb conviction", analysts at the Charles Schwab brokerage said.

But the S&P, where PepsiCo shares rose after CEO Indra Nooyi said she was stepping down, was slightly up, as was the NASDAQ.

Earlier, an equities rally in Asia petered out on concerns about the brewing China-US trade war, while the yuan struggled to maintain momentum after the Chinese central bank moved to support the unit.

"European bourses are struggling to keep their heads above water ... as trade war fears eroded gains in Asian markets," said Fiona Cincotta, senior analyst at City Index.

"The escalating trade war between the US and China is continuing to hit Chinese stock markets and the yuan although the country's central bank stepped in Monday to support the currency.

"The trade dispute is showing no signs of abating on either side with China saying on Friday it plans to bring in tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods."

- Who can last longer? -

"It could end up being a case of who can last longer in terms of taking financial damage from the rising tariffs."

Traders in Asia had started the day on an upbeat note, after data on Friday showed that while the US economy saw a slowdown in jobs creation in July, the pace of hiring remained strong over the past three months.

The report also showed wage growth remained tepid, helping ease worries about an overheating economy.

The result provided some much-needed cheer to markets, which brushed off a warning from Beijing that it would impose new tariffs if Washington pushes ahead with levies on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

However, while reports said unofficial talks have been held between Beijing and Washington, trade tensions continue to rise, with a top White House adviser calling China a bad bet and saying its economy -- the world's second biggest -- was struggling.

In forex trading, the pound dipped after International Trade Secretary Liam Fox declared over the weekend that the chances of a no-deal Brexit were now "60-40", laying the blame on EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Sterling was also fighting to recover from Friday's sell-off after Bank of England boss Mark Carney warned that the chance of leaving the EU without a deal was "uncomfortably high" and "highly undesirable".

In emerging markets, the Turkish lira hit fresh lows against the dollar and euro as strains caused by a diplomatic spat with the United States compounded concerns over domestic economic policy.

- Key figures at 1540 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,663.78 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 12,598.21 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 5,477.18 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: FLAT AT 3,483.30

New York - Dow Jones: FLAT at 25,456.53

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 22,507.32 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.5 percent at 27,819.56 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.3 percent at 2,705.16 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1564 from $1.1568 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2947 from $1.3001

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.39 yen from 111.25 yen

Oil - Brent Crude: UP 90 cents at $74.11 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP $1.15 at $69.64