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|06 May, 2019

Monday outlook: Markets plunge as Trump announces new tariffs on Chinese goods

Trump said he would raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent

A trader looks at price monitors as he works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., January 2, 2019.

A trader looks at price monitors as he works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., January 2, 2019.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
  • Chinese shares plunge more than 6 percent at one point
  • Oil prices track equities lower
  • Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s indices worst hit on Sunday
  • Dollar edges higher, gold rises

Global markets

Equity markets dropped on Monday after the United States President Donald Trump tweeted comments on Sunday that trade talks with China were proceeding “too slowly”, and that he would raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent on Friday from 10 percent.

He also said he would target a further $325 billion of Chinese goods with 25 percent tariffs “shortly”.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.9 percent, after earlier losing more than 2 percent.

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Chinese shares plunged more than 6 percent at one point, while U.S. stock market futures fell close to 2 percent.

“I think this has got the potential to be a real game-changer,” Nick Twidale, Sydney-based analyst at Rakuten Securities Australia, told Reuters.

“There is still a question of whether this is one of the famous Trump negotiation tactics, or are we really going to see some drastic increase in tariffs. If it’s the latter, we’ll see massive downside pressure across all markets,” he said.

Oil prices

Oil prices also dropped sharply following Trump’s comments.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.44 per barrel at 0032 GMT on Monday, down $1.50 per barrel, or 2.4 percent, from their last settlement.

Brent crude oil futures were at $69.34 per barrel, down $1.51 per barrel, or 2.1 percent, from their last close.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 1.7 percent on Sunday as Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest lender by assets, lost 2.5 percent and Alinma Bank shed 1.7 percent.

In Dubai, where the index shed 0.2 percent, Islamic Arab Insurance rose 14.9 percent and was the day's most heavily traded stock on the exchange.

The Abu Dhabi index lost 0.3 percent, pulled down by RAK Properties, which dropped 4.5 percent on lower first-quarter profits.

In Egypt, where the blue-chip index lost 2.4 percent, Orascom Investment Holding posted the highest volume and dropped 0.7 percent.

Qatar’s index edged 0.2 percent lower, Kuwait’s premier market index gained 0.7 percent while Bahrain’s index edged 0.1 percent and Oman’s index dropped 0.8 percent.

Currencies

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was barely higher at 97.538.

Precious metals

Gold prices surged following Trump’s comments as investors dumped equities.

Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,282.96 per ounce as of 0121 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent to $1,283.70 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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