US stocks trade lower amid trade concerns

US stocks trade lower amid trade concerns

New York: US stocks traded sharply lower on Friday, with the Dow tumbling over 600 points, as escalating trade tensions between China and the US weighed on the market.

US President Donald Trump had said that he asked the US Trade Representative to consider slapping $100 billion of additional tariffs on China, ratcheting up trade tensions and plunging economic growth into uncertainty, Xinhua reported.

China will fight “at any cost” and take “comprehensive countermeasures” if the US continues its unilateral, protectionist practices, a spokesperson with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.

The moves came after both sides earlier this week unveiled a list of products worth $50 billion imported from the other side that will be subject to higher tariffs.

The disappointing nonfarm jobs report also dented investor sentiment. US total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in March, way below market consensus of an increase of 193,000 jobs, the US Labor Department said on Friday.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 per cent in March.

“Given the Fed’s fear of the Phillip’s curve, March’s modest employment growth is likely to be hailed as good news among the denizens of the Eccles building after February’s outsized gain. Yields are down about 3bp along the entire curve, suggesting the traders are considering the possibility of both a slower pace of tightening and a lower cycle high for fed funds,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.


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