August 1, 2018 / 4:02 PM / 10 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks mixed as techs get boost but trade war fears hound markets

* Apple’s strong earnings lift Wall Street, ease trade worries

* Ten-year yield rises above 3 pct as U.S. steps up borrowing

* Dollar edges up

* Fed and BOE rate meetings now a market focus (Updates with opening of U.S. markets, changes dateline to NEW YORK, previous LONDON)

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - World stocks were mixed on Wednesday, with fears of an imminent escalation in the tariff war between the U.S. and China holding back gains, though robust results form technology giant Apple Inc boosted a key index on Wall Street.

Shares of Apple, which jumped 4.7 percent to a record high of $199.26 after predicting a surge in current-quarter sales, was the biggest advancer on all three major U.S. stock indexes.

Still, market participants said Wednesday’s reversal after a recent selloff of tech shares might not be sustainable.

“Whether that is a long-lasting effect on the tech sector is a question that cannot be answered,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin. “There is a big additional tariff that is being weighed and could be put into place at any moment, which is a concern.”

The U.S. administration plans to propose tariffs of 25 percent instead of 10 percent, on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods. Beijing vowed to retaliate if the United States slapped further tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24.36 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,390.83, the S&P 500 lost 0.8 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,815.49 and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.50 points, or 0.31 percent, to 7,695.29.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.12 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.46 percent.

Concern over what a full-blown trade conflict would mean for China and the global economy weighed on Chinese shares, the offshore yuan and the Australian dollar.

Wednesday’s reaction remained fairly muted, however, as investors turned their attention to central bank decisions.

“Maybe the market is underestimating the economic impacts of the tariffs and that is why it is keeping calm,” said Thu Lan Nguyen, a currencies strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

The U.S. Federal Reserve concludes its monetary policy meeting on Wednesday and market participants are preparing to peruse the Fed’s statement for signs of whether the expected two rate hikes for the rest of 2018 can be cemented into pricing.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note broke above 3 percent for the first time since June 13 after the U.S. government said it intended to boost borrowing from the bond market in the coming quarter to fund spending and debt obligations.

The government needs to fund a rising budget deficit even as the Federal Reserve continues to reduce its massive bond portfolio.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.05 percent versus the greenback at 111.83 per dollar after Tuesday’s pledge by the Bank of Japan to keep rates extremely low for an extended period..

Traders appeared to be putting the BOJ’s tolerance for higher yields to the test on Wednesday as the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond yield rose to 0.12 percent in its biggest one-day rise in two years.

Oil prices fell on data showing an unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles. The slump in crude prices comes after their largest monthly decline in two years in July.

U.S. crude fell 1.69 percent to $67.60 per barrel and Brent was last at $72.68, down 2.06 percent on the day. (Additional reporting by Tom Finn, Tommy Wilkes, Dhara Ranasinghe, Amy Caren Daniel and Kate Duguid; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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