While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 7

Traders and financial professionals work ahead of the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Traders and financial professionals work ahead of the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.PHOTO: AFP

Trump threatens more China tariffs, Beijing ready to hit back

China warned on Friday it was fully prepared to respond with a “fierce counter strike” of fresh trade measures if the United States follows through on President Donald Trump’s threat to slap tariffs on an additional US$100 billion (S$130 billion) of Chinese goods.

Trump, in light of what he called China’s “unfair retaliation” against earlier US trade actions, had upped the ante on Thursday by ordering US officials to identify extra tariffs, escalating a tit-for-tat confrontation with potentially damaging consequences for the world’s two biggest economies.

China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, calling the US action “extremely mistaken” and unjustified, said the spat was a struggle between unilateralism and multilateralism and that no negotiations were likely in the current circumstances.

The duelling trade threats rattled Wall Street on Friday, ending a volatile week with major indexes closing down more than 2 per cent on the day. The dollar also fell, while safe havens such as the Japanese Yen and gold futures rose.

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MMA: Conor McGregor freed on bail after New York melee

Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor was freed by a New York judge on US$50,000 (S$65,000) bail on Friday  after being charged with assault for his part in a melee at a media event to publicise a series of UFC fights at a Brooklyn arena.

The sport’s best-known athlete and an international star, McGregor, 29, appeared before a judge at the Kings County Criminal Court, dressed in a blue, long-sleeved shirt that hid his trademark tattoos.

He is charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief.

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Football: Manchester City were offered Man United's Pogba in January, says Guardiola

Manchester City were offered the chance to sign Manchester United's Paul Pogba during the January transfer window, according to City manager Pep Guardiola.

"I said no. We don't have the money to buy Pogba because he is so expensive," Guardiola told reporters on Friday as he attacked the conduct of agent Mino Raiola.

Guardiola, who stressed he thought Pogba an "incredible player", also suggested Raiola offered him then United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan shortly before his move to Arsenal in part-exchange for Alexis Sanchez.

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Formula One: Hamilton handed five-place grid penalty for gearbox change

Lewis Hamilton will take a five-place grid penalty in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix following a gearbox change on his Mercedes late on Friday in another early season setback for the world champion.

The British star had wound up fourth fastest earlier in Friday’s second free practice session at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Kimi Raikkonen was fastest as he and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel dominated the session ahead of the two Mercedes, headed by Valtteri Bottas.

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Golf: Spieth stumbles early, Kuchar in share of Masters lead

Overnight leader Jordan Spieth made a sputtering start to the second round of the US Masters on Friday but steadied the ship and was one shot back of co-leader Matt Kuchar midway through his round.

The slow start left the American world number four Spieth among a group of five players one shot back of Kuchar and seven others who were tied atop a jammed leaderboard at three-under for the tournament.

Four-times winner Tiger Woods was among the late starters and was five shots back of the leaders after opening his round with a bogey.

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