Business Report BEFORE THE BELL: US rate hike, cooling Chinese economy weighting markets SHARE ON: James Bowler, staff Thursday, Jun. 14th, 2018 A rate hike and disappointing Chinese economy are weighting global markets this morning. The US Federal Reserve has not only raised its interest rate to 2 per cent, but is also hinting at two more interest hikes before the year ends. Analysts say this may not overall affect the bullish attitude of the market, but for now it’s certainly causing some investors to lose appetite for risky equities. China’s economy seems to be cooling as retail sales only gained 8.5 per cent between January and May, a 15-year low. China is also the next target for US tariffs as Donald Trump consults with his administration. Reports suggest the US could slap China with $50 billion in tariffs. The Loonie is up slightly this morning to 77.12 cents US. Oil is flat, as US crude sits at 66.87 a barrel ahead of an OPEC meeting this month. Saudi Arabia is expected to announce an increase in oil production to 1 million barrels daily. Comcast shares are dropping as Fox stock is up after the NBC owner put in a bid for $65 billion to buy out the Murdoch family legacy, trying to edge out Disney’s $52 billion offer.