A second day of big losses pushed U.S. stocks to their worst week in two years.
The drop on Friday pushed the S&P 500 9% below its peak in late January, just short of the 10% threshold at which the index enters a correction. The Dow Jones was 0.23% lower, the S&P 500 fell 0.5% and the Nasdaq was down 0.8%.
The Chinese response sent shares in Asia tumbling on Friday, following Thursday's 723 point plunge on the Dow in NY. The White House says its action is in retaliation for China's use of pressure and intimidation to obtain American technology and trade secrets.
"We have this general freak-out".
While Beijing has yet to target US soybeans, speculation mounted that the oilseed could be next.
European shares fell today as a sell-off was triggered by mounting worries that USA tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China could escalate. "We are looking at all options", Ambassador Cui Tiankai told Bloomberg News. "China does not want a trade war with anyone. And we believe it", said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. "China hopes the United States will pull back from the brink, make prudent decisions, and avoid dragging bilateral trade relations to a risky place". Japan's Nikkei shed 4.5%, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 3.4% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 2.5%.
"The US' persistence in advancing the Section 301 investigation and publishing the so-called findings to pick a trade war will undoubtedly undermine the interests of American consumers, enterprises and the financial market directly", the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, a day after the US President ordered the US Trade Representative (USTR) to levy tariffs on at least $50 billion of Chinese imports.
Terry Ulrich grows wheat corn and soybeans and raises cattle alongside his family near Ashley N.D
Trade war fears: Investors are running scared after the United States and China fired the opening salvos of what could become a trade war.
China had warned the United States on Friday that it was "not afraid of a trade war" as it threatened tariffs on $3 billion worth of USA goods in retaliation. It was also their worst weekly performance in six weeks. "When I came into office, the stock market was from a different planet".
"It's not clear what the Trump administration's bottom line is", said Scott Kennedy, the head of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
The worry is that a tit-for-tat escalation between the two largest economies in the world will ruin the solid economic backdrop. Smaller companies are also getting a bigger benefit from the recent cut in corporate tax rates.
Stocks around the world have plunged as investors feared that a trade conflict between the United States and China would escalate.
But it's too early to assess the impact. It added that a 25 percent tariff on other goods, including pork and aluminum, could be imposed "after further evaluating the impact of US measures on China".
"The threat of a misstep remains high", Raymond James Washington policy analyst Ed Mills wrote in a report, but there is an expectation that "these actions will be watered down or mitigated" in the coming weeks.
"The hardening stance on both sides, and an unclear game plan in terms of the objectives and end game the Trump administration is striving toward, makes negotiations even more complicated than otherwise", Prasad said. He pointed to robust corporate profits and the strong economy, which enjoyed robust job growth in February.
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