Published: Mon, March 26, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Wall St struggles to shake off trade war…

Wall St struggles to shake off trade war…

The Dow lost 424 points, or 1.8 per cent, to 23,533, bringing its weekly decline to 1,400 points.

Wall Street on Friday struggled to shake off fears of a global trade war after the United States moved to slap tariffs on China and as technology stocks took another hit with Micron's results weighing on chipmakers, though oil prices gave some succor. "It also demonstrated that the worldwide community is concerned about the recklessness and danger of US policies and actions".

The S&P 500 index dropped 55.43 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,588.26.

Asian markets had closed sharply lower on Friday, with the region's biggest market - Japan's Nikkei 225 index - plunging 4.5 per cent, while Hong Kong's Heng Seng fell 2.5 per cent. Mainland Chinese shares tumbled with the benchmark Shanghai Composite losing 3.4 per cent. US markets fell steeply earlier this year when he imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The Dow is down almost 5 percent in 2018. Trump also announced tariffs earlier this month on imported steel and aluminum, triggering alarm among traders and GOP lawmakers opposed to protectionist trade policies. The S&P is down 3.2 percent year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite is hanging onto positive territory. He pointed to robust corporate profits and the strong economy, which enjoyed robust job growth in February. Facebook's deepening crisis and the Federal Reserve raising rates Wednesday rattled shaky investors. Boeing, Caterpillar and 3M were the biggest drags on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sliding 2-3 per cent.

The Fed forecast at least two more hikes for 2018, but almost half of the policy makers projected three more this year and the pace of increases is seen quickening in the next two years.

"Neither China or the US wants to engage in a trade war", says Plaza.

Germany's DAX lost 1.8 percent and the French CAC-40 fell 1.4 percent.

China, however, will be, and officials are reportedly drawing up a series of retaliatory measures.

Investor unease extended to the response from China, which urged the United States to "pull back from the brink", and unveiled its own plans to impose tariffs on up to $3 billion of U.S. imports.

The Dow blue-chip index of 30 bellwether stocks is now firmly in correction territory from its January 26 peak.

The S&P 500, a larger index of USA companies, is flirting with a correction, too. A 10 percent decline from its high earlier this year is considered a correction.

At the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow finished the day down 724 points to 23,957.

"I would certainly expect as we continue to roll back the regulatory front, as we continue make sure that this administration is working with businesses in America and trying to protect intellectual properties, I think the markets will respond affirmatively", Short said.

Facebook dropped 2.6 percent. The company's stock has dropped more than 10 percent this week after reports that Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked on Trump's 2016 campaign, used personal data from roughly 50 million Facebook users for political purposes without their knowledge.

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