May 21, 2019

US Pres. Trump: We are now a much bigger economy than China

14 May 2019, 08:21 | Glen Norman

Stocks plunge as fallout from trade war with China hits markets

Dow plunges 700 points amid escalating trade war between US, China

That is perhaps to be expected given it sends much more to the United States than vice-versa - and that the initial tariffs focused on elastic industries in which there are alternatives to importing from China.

ANZ was down 1.63 per cent to $26.00, Commonwealth was down 1.56 per cent to $72.35, NAB was down 4.88 per cent to $24.19, and Westpac was down 1.20 per cent to $26.795.

The S&P/ASX200 index was down 57.7 points, or 0.92 per cent, to 6239.9 while the all ordinaries was down 54.1 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 6327.2.

The slightly more optimistic comments came after both sides ramped up their trade war, with China announcing details of new tariffs against USA imports on Monday, following a US move last week to target Chinese imports.

Trump said he could make a deal with Beijing now, but said he would not be burned again and criticized China for last-minute attempt to renegotiate.

Trump continued: "We are now a much bigger economy than China, and have substantially increased in size since the great 2016 Election".

Japan's Nikkei stock index fell to its lowest since mid-February.

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The Dow dove 617.38 points, or 2.4%, to 25,324.99. Trade-sensitive tech companies suffered the largest percentage decline. Reuters reports that laptops and smartphones are on the list of items that may be subject to tariffs, along with a number of other items, including clothing, food, books and toys. More than 5,000 items imported from the U.S. to China will face increased tariffs of 25 percent, effective June.

"The measure taken by the U.S. escalated trade frictions and violated the consensus reached by both sides to tackle trade disputes through consultations", the authorities said in a statement issued by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 617.38 points, or 2.38%, to 25,324.99, the S&P 500 lost 69.53 points, or 2.41%, to 2,811.87 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 269.92 points, or 3.41%, to 7,647.02. Growth in the world's second-largest economy held steady at 6.4 per cent over a year earlier in the latest quarter, supported by higher government spending and bank lending. "If someone attacks us on our doorstep, we will take them on and fight to the finish", China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

The abruptness of Trump's tariff announcement made companies see doing business in China as more uncertain, said Parker of the U.S.

The sell-off was triggered by a significant setback in the trade negotiations between the United States and China. "Many Chinese scholars are discussing the possibility of dumping US Treasuries and how to do it specifically", Hu warned.

Beijing is the biggest holder of USA debt, and Bloomberg News estimated past year that the Chinese state held around $1.2 trillion's worth. "I don't disagree with that", he said to Fox News's Chris Wallace. Many are still confident that both sides will eventually reach a deal.

The latest trade talks ended Friday with no word of progress after Washington accused Beijing of trying to backtrack on earlier commitments.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 600 points Monday as investors sought shelter from an escalating trade war between the USA and China.

Sources have said talks stalled after China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

In a previous round of tit-for-tat moves, the USA imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports in September.

Bank of America Merrill analysts said the new Chinese tariffs posed a downside risk of between 1 per cent and 3 per cent for S&P 500 company earnings in 2019.

U.S. President Trump, as usual, is delivering his daily comments on the impact of the tariffs they are imposing on Chinese imports in a series of tweets.

The move comes after Beijing threatened "necessary countermeasures" for Trump's tariffs on Friday. This should have been done by our leaders many years ago.

Since then, the sides have exchanged several rounds of trade duties. According to the president, China buys nearly $500 billion less from the United States than the U.S. does from China.

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