Markets wobble over renewed trade war fears
Stock markets wobbled amid renewed fears of a trade war between the US and China.
Wall Street saw big sell-offs in early trade, though Asian markets held their nerve overnight to focus instead on prospects for stronger world growth.
Beijing responded to US president Donald Trump’s import tariffs on steel and aluminium with its own list of duties on 128 imported American products, including pork and apples.
The retaliatory action sent the Dow Jones down by more than 730 points, or 3%, before recovering to end the day down 459 points, or 1.9%.
The wider S&P 500 index was also down 2.3% and the tech-focused Nasdaq shed 2.74%, though losses were also attributed to sellers of Amazon and Facebook stock as the tech companies come under scrutiny.
Asian markets were more resilient, with Japan’s Nikkei down 0.9 %, having fallen 1.6% at the open. China’s Shanghai Composite index eased 0.4%. Shane Oliver, Sydney-based chief investment strategist at AMP Capital, said: “Asian investors have looked at the noise recently and said ‘well there is nothing really new in all this’.”
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said: “Instead of targeting fairly traded US exports, China needs to stop its unfair trading practices, which are harming US national security and distorting global markets.”