TOKYO- Global stock prices fell on Monday after the United States and China imposed new tariffs on each other’s goods, reinforcing investors’ worries over slowing global growth.
The E-mini futures for US S&P500 fell as much as 1.06 percent in early trade and last stood down 0.39 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.28 percent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.3 percent, led by 0.5 percent drop in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng after another weekend of violent anti-government protests.
But mainland Chinese shares fared better, with the CSI300 index rising 0.3 percent despite the trade row escalation.
China’s State Council said on Sunday it will increase adjustments of economic policy. A private survey on Monday showed factory activity unexpectedly expanded in August, though gains were modest and contrasted with official data that pointed to further contraction.
US President Donald Trump slapped 15 percent tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday – including footwear, smart watches and flat-panel televisions – while China imposed new duties on US crude, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war.
A variety of studies suggest the tariffs will cost US households up to $1,000 a year, with the latest round hitting a significant number of US consumer goods.
In retaliation, China started to impose additional tariffs on some of the US goods on a $75 billion target list. Beijing did not specify the value of the goods that face higher tariffs from Sunday.
“So far Trump appears defiant though on the tariff hikes, blaming the Fed and American companies for their difficulties in dealing with the tariffs,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP in Sydney.
“There is a long way to go though and re-establishing trust will be difficult after the experience since mid-last year. Share markets may still have to fall further to pressure Trump to resolve the issue.”
Many market players say the market’s reaction was likely exaggerated by algorithm-driven players’ flows in thin trading conditions at start of Asian trade on Monday.
Liquidity could be even more limited than usual because of a US market holiday on Monday.
“(The market move) goes to show you how many data mining algos are involved with equity linked compared to forex-linked. Was anyone surprised by these tariffs that took effect yesterday?” said Takeo Kamai, head of execution at CLSA in Tokyo. – Reuters