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Australia: Shares off on fears of protracted trade war; New Zealand edges up

Australia: Shares off on fears of protracted trade war; New Zealand edges up

Australian shares slipped on Wednesday as investors worried that the lack of progress in talks between the United States and China could signal a protracted trade war and harm the Australian economy.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 18.3 points or 0.3 per cent to 6,481.8 at 0106 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.4 per cent on Tuesday.

China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and the negative impact of the trade war on the Chinese economy could harm demand for Australian products.

“There is a lot of posturing and chest beating from US President Donald Trump and it just makes it hard to really get a feeling in the market. Investors are just not convinced,” said Damian Rooney, director of equity sales at Argonaut.