Sat, Jun 16, 2018 – 6:14 AM
[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks retreated Friday as tit-for-tat tariff announcements by the United States and China ignited a trade war that could spread.
Major indices were in the red the entire session, but closed above their session lows.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 per cent to end the week at 25,090.48.
The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.1 per cent to close at 2,779.42, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.2 per cent to 7,746.38, retreating from Thursday’s record.
US President Donald Trump announced 25 per cent tariffs on tens of billions in Chinese imports, sparking immediate retaliation from Beijing and bringing the world’s two largest economies to the brink of an all-out trade war long feared by markets and industry.
Business groups castigated the move as a risky escalation.
“Business Roundtable opposes the Administration’s announcement that it will impose tariffs on approximately US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods,” said the lobby group, which represents large companies.
“Rather than allowing time for constructive negotiations to produce results, today’s action invites China to hit back at American businesses, farmers, communities and families.”
Large multinationals active in China were among the worst performers in the Dow, with Caterpillar losing 2.0 per cent and Boeing and General Electric both falling more than one percent.
Petroleum-linked shares also tumbled on a pullback in oil prices due in part to the trade discord. Chevron fell 2.0 per cent, Halliburton 2.4 per cent and ConocoPhillips 4.1 per cent.