Sunday 18 August 2019

Global equities tumble on back of Trump's threat to hike tariffs

US President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

Reuters

Equities around the world tumbled yesterday after US President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese imports, creating further uncertainty as to whether a resolution in the long-running trade war can be achieved.

Mr Trump said on Sunday that he would raise tariffs on $200bn (€178bn) worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

On Friday, he had cited good progress in trade talks and praised his relationship with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

"Everyone expected talks were heading in the right direction and almost close to finishing," said Daniel Lenz, a rates strategist at DZ Bank in London. "This was totally out of the blue and the reaction is that we have more risk aversion today."

Germany's main stock index was down 1.3pc as the close approached. A broader index of European shares declined 1.7pc to its lowest level since early April.

Japanese and London markets were both closed for holidays, exacerbating the moves.

Losses in equities translated into gains for bonds.

Benchmark government bond yields in Germany retreated below zero and not far from March's two-and-a-half-year low of minus 0.09pc.

Ireland's stock market was open despite the holiday weekend.

The Iseq Overall Index was almost 0.8pc lower near the end of the session, at 6,441.

Movers included Bank of Ireland, which shed 1.5pc to €5.57 soon before the close.

Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa had lost 2.2pc to trade at €26.73 near the close. Gains were modest, with Ryanair advancing 1pc before the close, to €11.71.

France's CAC-40 was down 1.3pc before the bell.

French energy major Total said it had reached a binding agreement with Occidental to acquire Anadarko assets in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa for $8.8bn.

Irish Independent

Also in Business