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Chinese steel companies had a mixed reaction on Friday after President Donald Trump launched a national security investigation that could lead to tariffs on steel imports.

The US will use a 1962 law allowing the government to limit imports that threaten its security readiness as Mr Trump seeks to deliver on his campaign promises to support American-produced steel.

Mr Trump tweeted: “We’re going to use American steel, we’re going to use American labor, we are going to come first in all deals.”

Trump insisted the move “had nothing to do with China” – the world’s largest steel producer.

Shares in Baoshan Iron and Steel Co were flat after rising as much as 1 per cent in early trading. Hebei-based Hesteel was down 1.3 per cent after recovering from a 4.1 per cent dip. Angang Steel’s Hong Kong-listed shares were up 0.8 per cent, while its shares in Shanghai rose as as much as 1.5 per cent before easing to be up 0.4 per cent.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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