What's at stake in China-US trade dispute

05 April, 2018, 01:26 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Javelin’s Davies discusses markets and his investment

The opening shots of a US-China trade war came in late March when President Trump called on trade officials to draw up a list of tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese imports.

As a response to USA tariffs, China has announced that it will apply tariffs on a range of United States imports of up to 25% which is set to affect $3 billion worth of U.S. goods.

China has struck back in its trade dispute with the Trump administration, imposing tariffs on $50bn of U.S. goods.

Mr Geng said China had referred the USA to the World Trade Organization.

Beijing imposes tariffs on U.S. imports worth around $3 billion, including a 15% duty on 120 American products including fruits, nuts, wine and steel pipes and a 25% tax on eight others, like recycled aluminum and pork. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 19.51 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,531.66.

Big industrial and technology stocks were hardest hit by the selling.

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When reports surfaced last month that President Donald Trump planned to impose sweeping tariffs on imports from China, 82 footwear retailers, including Nike, Wolverine Worldwide and Clarks, sent a letter to the White House expressing "strong concern".

U.S. orange juice, certain sorghum products, cotton, some types of wheat, as well as trucks, some sport-utility vehicles, and certain electric vehicles, will also be subject to the new tariffs, according to the Chinese Finance Ministry. The Dow fell 506.21 points, or 2.11 per cent, to 23,527.15.

Beijing has been adamant that it did not want a trade war, but that it would not not back down under U.S. pressure.

Borrowing costs nudged lower in Europe too, even as the first March reading on eurozone inflation, a key release for markets as the European Central Bank (ECB) looks to wind down its massive monetary stimulus, came in firm at 1.4%. The S&P 500 gained 17.72 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,632.17 and the Nasdaq Composite added 54.37 points, or 0.78 percent, to 6,995.65.

Still, stocks on Wall Street and in Europe pulled back from more than 1 percent declines, with the FTSE in London closing higher and the three major us indexes later turned positive.

Wall Street slid amid concern about the latest moves towards a potential trade war between the U.S. and China.

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Stock markets are likely to react negatively to a trade war which could easily escalate and drag in other nations.

After a big early loss, US crude dipped 14 cents to $63.37 a barrel in NY while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, fell 10 cents to $68.02 a barrel in London.

"Trade war headlines create a lot of noise, spooking fast money", Guillermo Hernandez Sampere, head of trading at MPPM EK in Eppstein, Germany, told Bloomberg. Heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.98 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2 cents to $2.72 per 1,000 cubic feet. President Donald Trump has said that China must shave $100 billion off that deficit.

GM rival Ford Motor Co F.N lost as much as 3 percent while electric carmaker Tesla TSLA.O Inc, which depends on China for 17 percent of its revenue, fell as much as 5.8 percent.

The swing in risk sentiment put the pep back into bonds, with yields on U.S. 10-year treasury debt down two basis points at 2.76%.

Gold, for example, was up 0.8 percent at $1,347.40 an ounce.

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The rising trade rhetoric saw the dollar buckle to 106.16 yen, after edging up from a low of 105.70 on Tuesday. The euro hovered at $1.2296, after easing from a top of $1.2335 overnight, while the dollar index was 0.2% lower at 90.


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