Global markets fall on trade fears, rate hikes worries

Published: September 08, 2018 12:15:01 | Updated: September 12, 2018 11:46:29

Global stocks fell on Friday in volatile trading as investors weighed solid economic data against expectations for interest rate hikes and escalating US-China trade tensions.

The US dollar was boosted by the jobs growth numbers, but gains were checked by trade war fears as US President Donald Trump said he could hit China with more tariffs.

After opening lower and turning positive about an hour into trading, the S&P 500 reversed course early in the afternoon after Trump threatened tariffs on a further $267 billion worth of Chinese imports.

China has warned of retaliation if Washington launches any new measures, reports Reuters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 40.97 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 25,954.9, the S&P 500 lost 2.09 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,875.96 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 5.3 points or 0.07 per cent at 7917.25.

However, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.05 per cent but MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.20 per cent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.27 per cent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.33 per cent lower hitting a 14-month low during the session.

The dollar index rose 0.36 per cent, with the euro down 0.49 per cent to $1.1564.

US benchmark Treasury yields rose to their highest levels in almost a month after the higher-than-expected increase in wages raised expectations of higher inflation.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 18/32 in price to yield 2.9424 percent compared with 2.877 per cent late on Thursday.

Oil prices were under pressure from a strong dollar, weakness in the equity markets, and Tropical Storm Gordon’s smaller-than-expected impact on US Gulf Coast oil production.

US crude rose 0.04 per cent to $67.80 per barrel and Brent was last at $76.95, up 0.59 per cent on the day.2.877.

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