Tuesday 18 September 2018

Trade war fears spook stock markets

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

Bloomberg

European stock markets tumbled yesterday as a trade row between the United States and its largest partners intensified.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to intensify his protectionist efforts, sparking vows of retaliation from Europe and China. That rattled global equity markets and lifted demand for bonds.

There are fears the dispute could trigger a global recession.

After months of rhetoric and threats, the trade fight seems to be coming to a head, with Europe imposing tariffs on $3.3bn of American products last Friday in response to US barriers on imports of aluminium and steel.

That prompted threats of further tariffs on European cars from Mr Trump.

Proposed limits by the US on Chinese technology investment have strained already tense relations between the world's two largest economies. Political concerns also hit Italian bonds and stocks after the nationalist League party won municipal elections there.

In Ireland, the Overall Iseq Index succumbed to the wider sell-off, slipping below the 7,000 mark. It shed 1.8pc to 6,977.35.

Movers included insulation group Kingspan, which advanced 1.1pc to €42.90, while Permanent TSB was almost 3.9pc higher at €1.93.

AIB sank 4.4pc to €4.66, while CRH was 3.2pc lower at €30.10. Ryanair lost 2.2pc to €16.23, and Smurfit Kappa was down 1.6pc at €34.40.

The UK's FTSE-100 sank 2.2pc. Germany's DAX retreated 2.3pc and France's CAC-40 was 1.8pc lower by the end of the session.

German business sentiment declined in June as trade risks intensified.

Irish Independent

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