Oil prices fell after Chinese import data showed a slowdown in demand, weighing on world equity markets which fell modestly, even as U.S. technology shares extended recent gains.

China announced retaliatory trade tariffs in response to the United States’ decision to impose 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion of Chinese goods starting on Aug. 23.

Stock markets had recently continued to rise amid sturdy corporate results and data, despite the continuing trade battle between the United States and China, and the U.S. benchmark S&P index closed Tuesday less than half a percent off record highs hit on Jan. 26.

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