The series of economic and financial developments Friday was a strange, bewildering, exhausting microcosm of why the global economy is at risk of a meltdown.

It showed the odd interplay at work between the Chinese government's actions in the escalating trade war with the United States, the sober-minded global central bankers who have limited power to deploy and a US president whose public pronouncements often appear driven by grievance more than strategy.

President Donald Trump arrived in France on Saturday for a meeting of the Group of 7 industrialised nations, having set the stage for fireworks and confusion. In one

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