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Wall Street tumbles amid trade war concerns

Mar 26 2018 07:02

New York - Wall Street took another tumble, with the Dow falling 400 points, for a loss of more than 1,100 points in the two days since President Donald Trump launched a high-stakes trade confrontation with China.

And while the president has repeatedly touted the success of his policies by pointing to the soaring stock market, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 3 000 points since it peaked three months ago.

On the last trading session of a volatile week, the Dow fell another 1.8% to close at 23, 533.20.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 2.1% to end the week at 2 588.26, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.4% to 6 992.66.
Trump on Friday said his tough policies - including steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, and harsh penalties on Chinese goods and trade practices - have brought trading partners to the negotiating table.

But China and the European Union warned Washington they will not hold talks while being threatened. And China said it was not afraid of a trade war and would not rule out the possibility of scaling back purchases of US Treasury debt as one option for retaliation.

Still, the first steps announced by Beijing against the United States seemed moderate and did not include the vital aircraft and soybean sectors, which initially allayed some of the concerns among investors.

Schwab analysts noted that China presented a "measured response" to the US announcement, saying it would target 128 US products, including ethanol, fresh fruit, pork, steel and wine.

But after the close, the analysts said the market was "quickly accelerating to the downside in the final hour of trading, as the potential ramifications of the recent tariffs imposed on China continued to weigh on investors' minds."

Nike closed slightly higher, retreating from strong early gains which followed an upbeat earnings report Thursday and despite the departure of a senior executive for bad behaviour.

Cloud data service Dropbox also had a strong debut on Wall Street, surging 35% to $28.48 after setting its initial price at $21, above the top end of the projected range.

Economic data helped boost sentiment early in the session as a big gain in US aircraft sales last month led to a jump in durable goods orders that was double what analysts were expecting, a good sign for economic growth.

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equities  |  wall street  |  markets
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