Finance

Markets under pressure on trade war fears

Markets under pressure on trade war fears”

Stocks on Wall Street closed lower Friday, ending the worst week for the S&P 500 in two years, as investors weighed a brewing trade war between China and the United States that could hobble an otherwise healthy global economy.

The Chinese government could also target United States technology companies that manufacture products in China, such as Apple, in the hope those firms would pressure Washington to back down, said Victor Shih, a professor of political economy at University of California, San Diego.

A deal for the latter will not come in the next 45 days before the yet-to-be published US tariff list becomes effective.

Wei Jianguo, a former vice commerce minister, said China already has a second and third list of possible tariffs ready. Nothing should be addressed when it is with a gun to your head'.

Worries about how a trade war could erode global growth led to a flight to safety, sending yields on Chinese bonds lower. Some of these concerns were allayed on Thursday when it was announced that Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, and Mexico would be receiving a temporary exception.

"If a trade war were to take place, the two countries would be matched regarding the other's strengths and capabilities.Trump's famous temper tantrums indicate that his image is an act and that he is one of the most lackluster USA presidents".

"Part of the reason, frankly, that we're able to do that is the fact that we have the tariffs on steel and the tariffs on aluminium".

"The administration is moving forcefully into the anti-trade portion of its policy agenda", Barclays economist Michael Gapen wrote in a report on Friday.

Indicating that they would retaliate against tariffs announced by President Donald Trump.

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Trump is planning to impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

"China does not want to fight a trade war, but it is absolutely not afraid", the Chinese Ministry said.

Trump threatened to slap tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports Thursday. These new measures have been taken to penalize China for theft of intellectual property of American companies.

But in a surprise move, Mr Trump said he was only willing to give the bloc a temporary reprieve, until May 1. "China hopes the United States will pull back from the brink, make prudent decisions, and avoid dragging bilateral trade relations to a unsafe place".

But China stopped short of penalties on the biggest salvos in a potential trade war, leaving off soybeans, sorghum and Boeing aircraft, indicating Beijing may be looking for leverage in any negotiations with the U.S., the newswires said.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer indicated the industries could include aerospace, maritime and rail transport equipment, and new energy vehicles.

But it also urged the Trump administration to resolve differences through dialogue.

May has a full agenda on Friday: European leaders are expected to formally adopt the agree the terms of the Brexit transition period and future trade deal negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Investors are also watching staff changes at the White House.



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