March 9, 2021

Renewed trade war fears send Wall Street lower

US markets are down today on growing fears of a global trade war as President Donald Trump announced import tariffs on China.

Trump today revealed an estimated $50bn of tariffs over intellectual property violations.

"Fresh tariffs from the Trump administration has put a global trade war right at the centre of market psyche. Risk sentiment collapsed sending European and US tech stocks significantly lower," said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group.

"Investors are preparing for the worst, namely a tit-for-tat reaction from China and the negative consequences it could have for the free flow of goods and services."

Read more: Trump trade war main risk to seven-year high in global growth says OECD

At the time of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.88 per cent at 23,972.02 while the S&P 500 traded 2.03 per cent lower and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 2.24 per cent.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 slid to close down 1.23 per cent at 6,952.59.

"The FTSE, ignoring the fact cable pulled back under $1.41 after falling 0.4 per cent, dropped more than 100 points to sit at levels not seen since late 2016," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at SpreadEx.

Campbell added:

How the week ends now seems entirely predicated on what Trump does this evening.

The extreme nature of the session’s losses suggests investors are truly bracing themselves for the worst, something that could result in a sharp rebound if the President doesn’t actually fire the first shot in a much-feared trade war.

Read more: US and EU launch trade talks over Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs

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