Equity trading screens were bathed in red on Friday after US President Donald Trump stunned investors by unveiling new tariffs on China, cranking up trade tensions between the world’s top two economies. The announcement on Thursday that Washington will impose 10 percent tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods sparked a broad-based sell- off across the globe, reports agency.
All three major Wall Street indices sank to their lowest levels since June, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq recording their worst weekly losses of 2019. News that demand for US exports had weakened underscored concern that trade was becoming a trouble spot for economies worldwide. Trump’s announcement means virtually all of the $660 billion in annual merchandise trade between the world’s two biggest economies will be subject to punitive tariffs on it, with the latest duties due to take effect September 1. The US decision came after trade negotiators held talks in Shanghai this week, the first face-to-face discussions since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in June. China warned Friday it would take “countermeasures” if the US followed through on its threat, with the commerce ministry calling the decision a “serious violation” of the June truce. “Trump sent the market into a tailspin,” remarked Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at online currency trading platform OANDA.