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The Australian sharemarket is expected to open higher as markets largely brushed off concerns over rising US-China tensions. At 7.55am AEDT, futures are pointing to a gain of 26 points, or 0.4 per cent, at the open. President Donald Trump signed a bill supporting human rights in Hong Kong, potentially increasing tensions as the US and China talk about ending their trade war. China reacted with indignation to the legislation, which Congress passed with overwhelming support. Beijing summoned US Ambassador Terry Branstad for a dressing down and issued multiple statements threatening unspecified countermeasures.
US markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday but futures indicated markets will retreat when trading resumes on Friday, in what will be a shortened day. The contracts for both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 losing 0.3 per cent and 0.2 per cent. European stocks retreated on the US-China tensions while a survey of dozens of Europe’s top business executives shows their optimism is waning as trade tensions and other geopolitical uncertainties cloud the outlook for the global economy.