Global stocks retreated Thursday on continued doubts about US-China trade talks while the OECD slashed its growth outlook, citing the protracted trade conflict.
Investors, already nervous about the slow progress of the talks, became even more cautious after both houses of Congress overwhelmingly approved a bill supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and sent it to be signed by US President Donald Trump.
Major European markets closed in the red, along with Wall Street.
China on Thursday accused the United States of seeking to “destroy” Hong Kong and threatened retaliation after Congress passed legislation supporting the pro-democracy movement that has thrown the city into nearly six months of turmoil.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi said passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act “indulges violent criminals” that China blames for the worsening unrest and aims to “muddle or even destroy Hong Kong.”
On the other hand, citing unnamed sources, reports on Thursday said that Chinese trade envoy Liu He had invited US trade officials to Beijing for a new round of talks.
According to report, US officials are reluctant to make the trip, however, without clear commitments from Beijing addressing key US complaints.
On the macro front, the OECD grouping of the world´s wealthiest nations on Thursday trimmed its outlook for the global economy, saying the world was headed for its weakest economic growth since the 2007-2008 financial crisis.