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An attempt by European and US stock markets to claw back trade-war inspired losses on Tuesday lacked conviction, leaving them with little to show at the end of the trading day.
World equity markets slumped Monday as trade war fears took a heavy toll on valuations.
‘For as much as we sold off yesterday, it’s not that much of a rally,’ said Karl Haeling of LBBW, adding that fallout from a series of trade tariff announcements and threats was weighing on sentiment.
‘The lack of a rally probably shows that investor confidence has been shaken more than previously,’ Haeling said.
Worse before it gets better
Craig Erlam at Oanda also was cautious.
‘Nothing we’ve heard recently fills investors with any confidence that we’re going to see a de-escalation any time soon,’ he said. 
‘With tariffs already being implemented and US President Donald Trump promising more in retaliation against the European Union and China, it seems the situation is going to get much worse before it improves.’
London, boosted by a weak pound, was Europe’s best performer with a 0.4 percent gain at the close, while Paris and Frankfurt were both in the red at the closing bell.
Wall Street finished modestly higher, with the Dow and S&P 500 propelled by gains in petroleum-linked equities.
Oil prices jumped at a US State Department announcement that countries around the world would be sanctioned if they did not halt Iran oil purchases by November 4.
Markets plummeted Monday on reports Trump was planning tighter curbs on Chinese technology investment in America. 
Trump has threatened to strike back against China’s retaliation to the US tariffs that are due to take effect July 6. 
Asian stocks also moved sharply lower on Tuesday amid fear Washington was readying a new phase in its economic confrontation with China.
China was hardest hit, dropping close to two percent at the session low before paring losses later in the day.
Tokyo followed the same pattern, even ending up fractionally in the black on bargain-hunting late in the day.
Despite the slight recovery, analysts warned that market sentiment remained fragile.
‘The market is in a really bad state. It is in as dangerous a place as it was in 2015,’ said Zhang Qi, an analyst with Haitong Securities in Shanghai, referring to the market swing three years ago that saw the Shanghai index plunging more than 40 percent within three months.
Key figures around 2100 GMT
New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.1 percent at 24,283.11 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 2,723.06 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.4 percent at 7,561.63 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,537.92 (close) 
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 12,234.34 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 5,281.29 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 3,368.72 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: FLAT at 22,342.00 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 28,881.40 (close) 
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 2,844.51 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1600 from $1.1704 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3200 from $1.3281
Dollar/yen: UP at 110.08 yen from 109.77 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: UP $1.58 at $76.31 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP $2.45 at $70.53