Wall Street gains wiped out by fears of trade war

Donald Trump Xi Jinping

Report Trump Planning to Hit Remaining $267 Billion of Chinese Imports with Tariffs if Xi Talks Fail The Associated Press 29 Oct 2018

Washington is reported to be preparing to announce tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by early December if talks next month between Mr Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping fail to ease the trade war.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports since July, while Beijing has retaliated with new levies on $110 billion of US goods.

Trump also threatened on numerous occasions to put punitive tariffs on the entirety of Chinese imports to the United States if Beijing enacted retaliatory measures in response to Washington's latest round of duties on US$200 billion of Chinese goods.

No decision has been made but preparation for new tariff list are on, in case the meeting does not yield progress towards solving disputes. Most of those imports are now being charged a 10 percent tariff, which is set to increase to 25 percent at the end of the year.

The newspaper noted that USA businesses had been hoping there would be sufficient progress at the G20 meeting between Trump and Xi to at least bring about a suspension of the planned escalation of the tariff hike on the $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, many of them consumer goods and components for United States products, set for January 1.

Early trading was a reflex reaction as investors bought into last week's weakness, said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist for Edward Jones. The Shanghai Composite index rebounded 1.2 percent to 2,573.33 and South Korea's Kospi picked up 1.3 percent to 2,021.82.

Pakistan court frees Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy
The law does not clearly define blasphemy and evidence might not be reproduced in court for fear of committing a fresh offence. The charges against Bibi date back to a hot day in 2009 when she went to get water for her and her fellow farmworkers.

If the discussions fail, the Trump administration will apply a new round of tariffs targeting the rest of the US' imports from China, worth roughly US$257bn, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Marijuana producers pushed health care stocks higher by 1.4 per cent. Aphria Inc. rose 6.3 per cent, while Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. increased 2 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively.

NAB's Mark Todd said he doesn't see China or USA backing down. Natural gas was unchanged at $3.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.Gold lost 0.7 percent to $1,227.60 an ounce.

The euro was flat at $1.1392. The S&P 500 index has dropped 9.4 percent in October and is on track for its worst monthly loss since February 2009. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 94 cents to $66.10 a barrel, a 1.4-per-cent decline.

US crude fell 1.06 percent to $66.33 per barrel and Brent was last at $76.30, down 1.34 percent. Any reminders of that just leads to more pessimism. Copper was little changed at $2.74 a pound.The dollar rose to 112.35 yen from 111.85 yen.

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