Indications of a trade war between the US and China has led to noticeable decline in stock market index in China with the Hang Seng Index down by 3.67 per cent.
Stocks in Hong Kong and mainland China declined across the board with the index plunging by 1,140.82 points to 29,930.23. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange also dropped 3.09 per cent, or 57.22 points, to 1,792.38.
China just recently announced a a list of US goods including pork and aluminium pipe it says may be hit by higher tariffs in response to President Donald Trump’s higher import duties on steel and aluminium.
Trump yesterday signed a presidential memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China, although the measures have a 30-day consultation period.
Investors fear that the U.S. measures could escalate into a trade war, with potentially dire consequences for the global economy.
Tokyo stocks too opened sharply down Friday, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index falling three percent on revived trade war fears.
Meanwhile, Oil prices recouped overnight losses after Saudi Arabia said that OPEC and Russian-led production curbs introduced in 2017 will need to be extended into 2019.
U.S. crude futures were up 1.2 percent at $65.08 per barrel after losing 1.3 percent on Thursday and Brent gained 1 percent to $69.58 per barrel .
Other commodities did not fare as well amid the trade war fears, with copper on the London Metal Exchange extending a big overnight drop and falling to a three-month low of $6,640.00 per tonne.