Economy

Markets Right Now: Stocks fall on fresh worries over trade

Markets Right Now: Stocks fall on fresh worries over trade

Asked whether the trade war has begun, Geng said, "China will not ignite a trade war, yet we are not afraid of it".

The collateral damage could be widespread.

Derek Scissors, a China scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank, spelled out the reality of the situation when he said that Beijing has almost exhausted United States imports to target.

The White House has accused China of forcing USA companies to share advanced technology with Chinese partners as a condition of doing business there.

Goldman Sachs said it expected China to adopt a slightly easier monetary stance in the face of tit-for-tat tariffs between Beijing and Washington that, while likely to have limited immediate impact on the economy, were at risk of escalating.

President Donald Trump is calling for tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, drawing a rebuke from China.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.2 per cent to 24,699.90.

Shares of Japanese construction equipment makers Komatsu Ltd and Hitachi Construction Machinery tumbled 3.9 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

China has said it would slap a 25 percent tariff on imports of US crude, natural gas and coal on July 6 if Washington went ahead, as planned, with its own tariffs on Chinese goods that day. He suggested China could take actions, beyond tariffs, to make life hard for Apple and other USA companies.

Beijing's response drew the president's ire.

Beijing: Beijing on Tuesday accused Donald Trump of "blackmail" and warned it would retaliate in kind after the USA president threatened to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese goods, pushing the world's two biggest economies closer to a trade war. The White House said on Monday evening that if China goes through with its promise to retaliate against the USA tariffs announced last week, Washington will impose new tariffs, the Washington Post reported.

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Separately, the Chinese Commerce Ministry has hit back accusing the U.S. of blackmailing by threatening to slap additional tariffs on United States dollars 200 billion of Chinese goods and warned that it would hit back with comprehensive measures if Washington went ahead with the plan.

Analysts say the Chinese government could target trade in services between the two countries rather than physical products. "He's willing to totally close our market to their exports".

The moves could start to meaningfully slow US growth, economists warn.

Trump said that if China responds to this fresh round of tariffs, then he will move to counter "by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200bn of goods". "Trump could put more pressure on other countries like Japan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation courtiers", said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo.

But after matching United States tariffs, the world's second-largest economy is starting to run out of options after importing just $129.8 billion of American imports. The United States sold only $130 billion of goods to China previous year. Soybeans are on the list - a direct shot at a swath of Trump supporters in the American heartland.

And Beijing has other ways to inflict pain on American companies. "The reforms are needed for China to maintain stable and sustainable growth". Or it could hold up their products at customs.

Washington rescinded a ban on sales of USA technology to ZTE after the company agreed to pay a $1 billion fine and hire American-picked compliance managers. And investors across the world will be hoping for signs that the United States will de-escalate the dispute. Chemicals company DowDuPont lost 3.4 percent to $65.48.

Shares in supermarket Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, meanwhile jumped 2.6 percent after the company reported solid first-quarter sales. Chipmaker Qorvo gets over half its revenue in China, Intel almost 23 percent.

Yet so far, China has shown little inclination to back off.

Targeting petroleum puts the Trump administration's "energy dominance" agenda in Beijing's cross-hairs as USA shale has grabbed share from Middle East suppliers in Asia. "If China takes any actions to harm our companies operating in China or otherwise try to harm any corporate entity, farmer, ranch or whatever, those constitute actions which aren't acceptable and this president will have the back of Americans whether they're here on a farm in Iowa or Shanghai trying to operate". While U.S. crude will continue flowing to market even with tariffs, "it'll force you to put your oil somewhere else, and it'll cost you more" to line up other buyers.


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