Asians stocks fall on US-China trade tensions, yen rises

MARKET-TO-MARKET: Stock market chaos? Wall St. shows no fear

MARKET-TO-MARKET: Stock market chaos? Wall St. shows no fear

The S&P 500 index skidded 58.99 points, or 2.2 per cent, to 2,581.88. The index was down 0.2% for the year. At one point, the leading USA equities index fell to as low as 6805 but maintained a small air pocket above its 200-day line. Meanwhile, Tyson Foods Inc., a major US pork exporter, suffered a 6.3-per-cent decline in its stock price after Beijing's food tariffs took effect.

The Facebook data scandal, self-driving vehicle crashes and Trump's intervention against Amazon pushed the S&P technology sector to post its worst monthly losses in almost two years in March.

After a month of public negotiations between the USA and several other countries, Monday marked the first time another country has placed tariffs on US goods in response to the Trump administration's recent trade sanctions.

"And if it escalates, the questions could be on if China is going to buy our bonds".

Amazon.com was the biggest drag on the S&P 500, down 5.9 per cent, as President Donald Trump launched his latest in a series of Twitter attacks on the online retailer.

China retaliated on Monday by slapping duties of up to 25 per cent on USA food imports, including pork, fruit, nuts and wine. "Technology has been one of the best performing areas of the market and drove much of the returns in 2017 and the first month of 2018".

But in a worrisome development, the liquidation spread to a broader slate of companies, including American Express, Home Depot, Nike and Dow DuPont, all of which lost two per cent or more.

"That's going to start stoking fears of trade wars and protectionism". Facebook, Tesla and Amazon in particular have all seen steep moves of late, and they all tumbled in Monday's session. Trump has repeatedly criticized Amazon over issues including taxes and Amazon's shipping deals with the U.S. Postal Service.


Among a few bright spots, Humana HUM.N jumped 4.4 percent Reuters reported Walmart WMT.N was in early-stage talks with the health insurer about developing closer ties, with acquisition discussed as one possibility. Humana gained 4.4 per cent while Walmart slid 3.8 per cent.

The electric automaker's losses extend last week's near 14-per cent decline as investigations of a fatal California crash and a Moody's credit downgrade weighed on the stock.

Elsewhere in the region, Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.1 percent to 5,752.70.

Energy companies skidded as benchmark U.S. crude lost 1.93 dollars, or 3%, to 63.01 dollars a barrel in NY.

Markets in China, Japan, Australia and South Korea all declined while the Japanese yen rose against the dollar as currency traders looked for a safe haven.

Brent crude, used to price global oils, rose 16 cents to $67.80 in London. The euro edged up to $1.2308 from $1.2306.

The Nasdaq-100 Index fell 2.9% and all of its components ended in negative territory.

Meanwhile, the major European markets were closed on the day for Easter Monday holidays. Markets in Australia and Hong Kong also were shut.

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