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International markets roundup

International markets roundup

NEW YORK: US stocks have fallen sharply after President Donald Trump said the United States would impose import tariffs on steel and aluminium, adding fears of a tit-for-tat trade war to growing worries about higher interest rates.

After a confused day of report and counter report, Trump said the US would impose tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on imported aluminium next week.

That drove shares in US steel producers as much as 12 per cent higher but knocked two per cent or more off heavyweights like Boeing and Caterpillar, who investors worried would face higher raw material costs and trade barriers elsewhere.

 New York Federal Reserve president William Dudley also added to the evidence that the US central bank under new chief Jerome Powell would seek to tighten monetary policy with four interest rates rises this year, more than previously expected.

By 1.09 pm Thursday ET, all the major sectors in the S&P 500 were down in response along with 29 of the 30 components of the Dow Industrial Average.

 By late in the US session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.49 per cent, the S&P 500 had lost 1.64 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.00 per cent worst off.

LONDON: European shares slid on Thursday as a flurry of uninspiring earnings updates from retailer Carrefour and advertiser WPP kept the mood downbeat, while broader jitters over tightening monetary policy spilled over into a new month.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 1.4 per cent to a two-week low, while Germany’s DAX fell 1.97 per cent to 12,190.94 and Britain’s FTSE felt the weight of Brexit uncertainty with a 0.78 per cent loss to 7,175.64.

Results were squarely in focus, with shares in French supermarket Carrefour dropping six per cent after the group cut its dividend and gave a cautious 2018 profit outlook.

Many retailers have struggled in the face of Amazon’s rise and the need to adapt to a tech-led world.

UK shares fell on Thursday after advertising giant WPP reported its worst results since the financial crisis and a gauge of British factory activity fell to its weakest in eight months.

Investors have been on edge in recent weeks over concerns that rising interest rates in advanced economies, led by the United States, could sap global growth.

TOKYO: Asian stocks were mostly lower on Thursday after Wall Street marked its worst monthly performance in two years as hawkish-sounding comments from new Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reverberated across the broader risk asset markets.

But China’s markets, including Hong Kong, bucked the trend, edging up after a private survey showed manufacturing sector growth picking up to a six-month high.

Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.44 per cent higher at 3,273.76 while the blue-chip CSI300 gained 0.63 per cent to 4,049.09.

Hong Kong lifted 0.65 per cent to end at 31,044.25.

But Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.56 per cent, ending the day at 21,724.47, following Wall Street’s sharply negative lead.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.91 per cent for its third day of losses.

WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.4 per cent, to 8,342.71