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Equities drop as US-China trade row deepens

Hopes for talks between the US and China to end the trade war have been dashed

Stocks fell Monday across the globe as US tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports kicked in, clouding the global economic outlook with prospects of an intensified trade war between the world's top economies.

Beijing, which has primed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion in US goods, accused Washington of "economic intimidation."

Hopes for talks to resolve the protracted dispute appeared to have been dashed as Beijing reportedly cancelled the visit of a negotiating team that was to travel to Washington later this week.

"The Chinese government confirmed they will not re-engage in trade talks while the US continues to threaten them with additional tariffs," noted David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets.

"There is a growing sense that the trade spat will drag on, and this is weighing on sentiment," he said.

The latest US tariffs against Beijing brings the amount of goods hit by duties to more than $250 billion, roughly half of China's US exports, with American consumers likely to suffer collateral damage.

- Oil hits 2014 peak -

Oil meanwhile spiked higher after the world's top producers decided to maintain output at the weekend in an apparent rebuff to pressure from US President Donald Trump.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November soared as high as $81.40 per barrel -- the highest level since November 2014 -- before taking a breather and finishing at $81.20 per barrel.

A committee comprised of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel and non-OPEC producers said in Algiers that it was satisfied with the current market outlook, which represented "an overall healthy balance between supply and demand."

Equity markets fell across Europe. The Dow and S&P 500 dropped, although the tech-rich Nasdaq scraped a modest gain.

In Asia, Hong Kong led a sell-off during holiday-thinned business as trade tensions took center stage once again.

- Corporate news flow -

Several stocks made large moves following deals.

Sky shares soared more than eight percent after US cable giant Comcast successfully bid £30.6 billion ($40 billion, 34 billion euros) for the broadcaster.

Comcast outgunned Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox in a weekend auction for the pan-European television operator, dropped 6.0 percent.

Meanwhile, miner Randgold gained a little more than six percent after agreeing to a takeover from Canadian titan Barrick Gold to create a global industry champion worth $18.3 billion.

Holiday operator Thomas Cook saw its share price collapse by more than 28 percent however after issuing a profit warning on weak demand caused by Europe's recent heatwave. The news also sent rival TUI shares down almost three percent.

In New York, clothing and accessories company Michael Kors dropped 8.2 percent following reports it is close to a deal to buy Versace for $2 billion or more, its latest push into luxury.

Pandora Media shed 1.2 percent after agreeing to be acquired by SiriusXM for $3.5 billion. Sirius sank 10.3 percent.

- Key figures around 2100 GMT -

New York - Dow Jones: DOWN 0.7 percent at 26,562.05 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.4 percent at 2,919.37 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.1 percent at 7,993.25 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.4 percent at 7,458.41 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.6 percent at 12,350.82 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 5,476.17 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,410.44 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.6 percent at 27,499.39 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1748 from $1.1749 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3115 from $1.3072

Dollar/yen: UP at 112.78 yen from 112.59 yen

Oil - Brent Crude: UP $2.40 at $81.20 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP $1.30 at $72.08 per barrel

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