Trump Threatens Another $200 Billion in Chinese Tariffs as US Stocks Plunge

It’s getting ugly in China

Beijing had agreed to buy goods worth $70 billion and to invest more in United States infrastructure if Washington agreed to withdraw its tariffs.

The tariffs would start to slow USA growth, economists warn.

Late Monday, Trump also announced he might pursue $200 billion more in tariffs on Chinese goods, though it was unclear whether the list would include more chips or computing products that might impact Intel. Beijing said it would respond with "comprehensive measures" if that happens. He added he would identify an extra $200bn of goods - for a possible total of $450bn, or most Chinese imports - "if China increases its tariffs yet again".

The Dow was trading at 24,694 as of 12:10 p.m.

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC ended 3.8 percent lower after slumping almost 5 percent at one point to its lowest level since mid-2016.

The August gold contract closed down US$1.50 at US$1,278.60 an ounce and the July natural gas contract ended down five cents at US$2.90 per mmBTU. "We'll see whether or not we can make a reasonable NAFTA deal".

POSITIVE HOUSING DATA: The solid USA job market has helped to boost demand for new homes.

However, many market watchers believe there is still room for compromise, suspecting Trump's announcement was a negotiating tactic to wring faster concessions from Beijing. China's Commerce Ministry criticized the White House action as blackmail and said Beijing was ready to retaliate.

Shares of large US companies with significant overseas business were hit especially hard. Apple was down 1.9 percent at $185.20 in afternoon trading in NY. Automakers fell sharply. GM sank 3.9 percent to $42.25 while Tesla slumped 3.9 percent to $356.25. The contract lost $1.83 to settle at $65.06 per barrel on Friday.

The euro was steady at $1.1622. The dollar fell to 110.02 yen from 110.44 yen.

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Companies also are watching the fate of ZTE Corp. US gold futures fell 0.22 percent to $1,277.30 an ounce.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly vowed to widen market access for foreign investors and cut foreign ownership caps in certain industries, as Beijing tries to position itself as champion of global trade in the face of what it calls USA protectionism.

Shares of Japanese construction equipment makers Komatsu Ltd and Hitachi Construction Machinery tumbled 3.9 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. The move failed to mollify investors, who had their first chance to react to trade-related news after returning from a long weekend.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield touched 2.871 percent, its lowest since June 1.

Oil prices, which were lower in early global trading, steadied ahead of an OPEC meeting where top suppliers are expected to agree to increase global crude supply.

Big industrial and technology companies skidded Tuesday as the trade dispute between the USA and China threatened to come to a boil.

The moves could start to meaningfully slow US growth, economists warn. China threatened to retaliate, leading Trump to seek broader penalties.

While the strong dollar affected commodities across the board, investors in US agricultural commodities appeared particularly anxious. Acacia Communications gave up 4.5 percent to $33.68 and Oclaro sagged 3.4 percent to $8.71.

Lower-risk assets gained on the latest round of trade threats. USA crude fell 1.6 percent to $64.80 a barrel in NY, and Brent crude, the global standard for oil prices, fell 0.5 percent to $74.94 a barrel in London. Wall Street was poised to open higher. American Electric Power rose 1.7 percent to $66.60 and Kimberly-Clark gained 1.8 percent to $102.57. Smaller companies less focused on overseas trade fared better, as did dividend-paying stocks.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 lost 26 points to 2,747 while the tech-laden Nasdaq fell close to 87 points to 7,660.

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