23rd March 2018
Trump to impose $60bn of trade tariffs on China
US President Donald Trump has announced yesterday that he plans to hit China with around $60bn in trade tariffs, sparking worries over an escalating trade war being threatened by the US. Following plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the US from any country, the latest announcement is, this time, specifically aimed at China, causing China to indicate it will take retaliatory measures should the plans go ahead. Asian stock markets were hit particularly hard by the news, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index falling around 4.5 per cent overnight, while China's stock markets fell around 2.5-3.5 per cent. Meanwhile, US markets had fallen around 2.5 per cent. Conversely, investors sought safer assets, causing developed market government debt to rally, whilst the Japanese Yen, often treated as a safe haven currency, rose markedly against the US dollar. Today, global markets are following a similar pattern, with European stocks opening down, whilst government debt rallies.