China Trade War Not Ending Soon

Anna Jefferson
November 1, 2018

The S&P 500 Index looked set to extend its rally from a day earlier as more company results rolled in, with General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline and Sprint among those beating expectations.

On Friday, the final report before the November midterm elections may show hiring improved as payrolls rose about 190,000, and the unemployment rate held at a 48-year low of 3.7 percent, analysts forecast.

The trade war started with Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, quickly escalating to include tariffs on USA farm products, most notably soybeans and pork.

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Since March, the Trump administration has introduced several waves of tariffs worth tens of billions of dollars against Chinese goods in an effort to rebuild the United States industrial base. The administration has threatened tariffs on the rest. Previous rounds of USA tariffs have taken at least two months to impose once a list of products was announced, allowing for public comments to be aired.

The S&P 500 index fell 17.44 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,641.25. The rally helped turn both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average once again positive for the year, though each is up less than 1 percent since the beginning of January. It fell as much as 566 during the day.

At 12 p.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 49.17 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 14,771.08. Trading has been especially volatile the last few days. But Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent to 11,316 and the CAC 40 in France sank 0.2 percent to 4,980 after weak eurozone growth figures. Microsoft ended down 2.9% at $103.85. Italy's FTSE MIB index rose 1.9 percent after Standard & Poor's did not downgrade the company's credit rating. Ten percent tariffs on $200 billion in imports that took effect in September are due to increase to 25 percent on January 1. Its stock traded above $2,000 a share in early September and has fallen 24.5 percent since then, its worst decline in two and a half years.

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Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 4/32 in price to yield 3.1 percent, from 3.087 percent late on Monday. The Nasdaq has dropped 13% from its August 29 record high.

"So I think we're probably due for more swings like this, kind of intraday swings and daily swings that are reflective of low conviction at the moment".

The energy sector closed off more than three cent as the price of crude oil continued to fall as investors remained concerned about slowing global demand led by weakness in China. The basic issue, as set out in a list of initial demands presented last May, is that the U.S. is demanding that China roll back, or at least severely curtail, its program for advanced industrial and technological development under its "Made in China 2025" plan.

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