Trade fears slam stocks, commodities, investors eye safety

Analysts don't expect the solar or storage industries to take a heavy hit from recent Trump tariff announcements

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, fell 0.3 per cent, nearing a seven-day low.

Industrial and technology companies took some of the worst losses as investors anxious that the dispute could grow more intense and drag down global economic growth. Dow futures dropped 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 futures were down 0.6 percent.

Spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE to open down 0.3 percent, with Germany's DAX seen shedding 0.7 percent and France's CAC losing 0.8 percent.

The White House said Monday evening that if China goes through with its promise to retaliate against the USA tariffs announced last week, the United States will impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. With bond yields falling, some investors bought high-dividend companies like utilities and companies that make and sell household goods.

The escalation in the dispute with China may also serve as a warning to other trading partners with which Trump has been feuding, including Canada and the European Union. Stocks tumbled almost 3 percent in Hong Kong, 2 percent in Tokyo and 4 percent in Shanghai.

Shares in supermarket Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, meanwhile jumped 2.6 percent after the company reported solid first-quarter sales. Aerospace giant Boeing fell 3.4 percent and DowDuPont slipped 3.3 percent.

While chips were largely spared from the initial list of targeted goods released in April, U.S. trade officials on Friday released a second tariff list of 284 products worth $16 billion that includes the processor and memory chips at the heart of Intel´s business.

In London, shares in British engines maker Rolls-Royce soared almost 10 percent.

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Navarro also indicated that no trade talks with China were planned but said the administration was willing to hold discussions. USA crude fell 1.6 percent to $64.80 a barrel in NY, and Brent crude, the global standard for oil prices, fell 0.5 percent to $74.94 a barrel in London. At the same time, China pulled back from the deal made with the USA on 21 May, which, among other things, involved buying more USA products worth USD70bn. Major stock indexes in Asia and Europe also took sharp losses.

Two decades ago, China's economy was largely fuelled by exports, but it has made progress in rebalancing towards domestic investment and consumption since the global financial crisis erupted last decade - limiting the damage trade tariffs could inflict on Beijing.

The Chinese retaliation pattern shows that China intends to follow Donald Trump with "equal scale and equal strength" on every move he takes against China. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 3.8 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 2.8 percent.

USA stock markets fell sharply Tuesday, with investors increasingly nervous about the impact of the escalating fight.

Shanghai-based hedge manager David Dai said the rapidly escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have added woes to an already fragile stock market and make calling the bottom very hard.

Trump today announced tariffs of 25 percent targeting Dollars 50 billion (43 billion euros) in Chinese imports from "industrially significant" technologies, making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of American intellectual property.

US tariffs on Chinese products including steel, aluminium, and those that benefit from China's industrial development subsidy programmes including the "Made in China 2025" technology upgrade plan, could hurt a broad number of China-listed companies, said fund manager Dai, who is general manager of Shanghai Wisdom Investment. Earlier this month the Trump administration announced a deal with ZTE, but Senate leaders have sought to reverse it. The yield on the USA 10-year Treasury fell to 2.88 percent from 2.92 percent.

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