By Marketwatch and Associated Press
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images
Asian markets sank in early trading Friday after U.S.-China trade tensions reignited.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he intends to slap 10% tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, due to take effect Sept. 1. U.S. stocks dropped immediately after the surprise announcement, along with crude oil prices and U.S. bond yields.
That added to investor unease following Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s suggestion Wednesday that the U.S. central bank had no plans for an extended cycle of interest rate cuts.
“Markets are reeling after President Trump expressed his frustration with China’s stalling techniques,” said Stephen Innes of VM Markets in a report. “With the global markets on edge after Chair Powell’s communication failed so miserably, few traders have been willing to step in front of this steamroller.”
On Friday, Japan approved the removal of South Korea from its list of most-favored trade partners, ratcheting up tensions between the two countries. Meanwhile, in Bankgkok, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ripped China’s predatory trade practices in a speech on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +2.01% slid 2.4% and Hojng Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.36% fell 2.2%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.43% slipped 1.5% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.25% retreated 1.6%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.73% slipped 0.9%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +0.30% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.18% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +1.75% all fell. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +2.25% declined 0.5%.
Among individual stocks, Nippon Steel /zigman2/quotes/209782682/delayed JP:5401 +6.83% plunged in Tokyo trading, as SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +2.60% , Toyota /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +3.06% and Inpex /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -0.48% sank as well. In Hong Kong, Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -1.90% , Sands China /zigman2/quotes/207609245/delayed HK:1928 -1.62% and CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 -1.46% fell. Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +2.00% and SK Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 +3.93% dropped in South Korea, and Foxconn /zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed TW:2354 +0.37% and Taiwan Semiconductor /zigman2/quotes/207385621/delayed TW:2330 +0.34% declined in Taiwan. In Australia, Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT -4.71% , BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +2.73% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +2.00% slumped.
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.48% fell for a fourth day, losing 0.9% to 2,953.56. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +2.21% declined 1% to 26,583.42. The Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.77% ended 0.8% lower at 8,111.12.
The escalation in U.S.-Chinese trade tension comes only a couple of days after both sides resumed negotiations.
In a series of tweets, Trump noted that while slow-moving negotiations have been “constructive,” China has not followed through on some prior agreements.
Washington has imposed tariffs of 25% on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Beijing retaliated with tariffs on $110 billion of American goods, including agricultural products, in a direct shot at Trump supporters in the U.S. farm belt.
Unlike earlier tariffs, which were meant to minimize the impact on ordinary Americans by targeting industrial goods, the new ones would affect a wide range of consumer products.
Trump also expressed frustration the Fed isn’t cutting interest rates more aggressively.
The Fed cut its key interest rate for the first time in a decade Wednesday, citing uncertainty over the U.S. trade conflicts.
U.S. share price declines come despite unexpectedly strong corporate earnings.
Oil companies Exxon /zigman2/quotes/204455864/composite XOM +0.72% and Chevron /zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite CVX +0.64% will report results on Friday. The government will also release its employment report for July on Friday.
Qualcomm /zigman2/quotes/206679220/composite QCOM +1.63% fell 2.7% after the chipmaker gave investors a surprisingly weak profit and revenue forecast because of problems in China. A ban on exports to China’s Huawei, which is part of the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, hangs over the company.
Benchmark U.S. crude jumped 99 cents to $54.94 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $4.53 on Thursday — its biggest drop in more than four years — to $53.95. Brent crude , used to price international oils, soared $1.51 to $62.01 per barrel in London. It fell $4.55 the previous session to $60.50.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.1328% declined to 107.04 yen from Thursday’s 107.35 yen.