Asian shares mixed as China recovers from Wall Street drag

Sean Reid
March 5, 2018

The Dow and S&P 500 registered a third straight day of more than 1 percent declines on Thursday after President Donald Trump said the United States would impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum, raising concern about higher prices and a trade war.

About 9.0 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges.

Best Buy jumped around 5 percent after it reported strong same-store sales for the fourth quarter, recovering from falls overnight due to the US consumer electronics retailer's announcement of 250 small mobile phone store closures.

Shares on Wall Street renewed their slide today as speculation mounted that a trade war would break out between the European Union and United States over President Trump's proposed steel tariffs.

Equity markets in Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo all lost more than two percent as United States trading partners and several leading industry groups criticized Trump's plan. But Trump, who has consistently supported protectionist measures for decades, may be willing or even eager to wage a tit-for-tat trade war. They surged in the morning following reports that the White House planned to make the announcement shortly, only to lose most of the gains when subsequent reports said the announcement may not happen. Some traders took that as a signal that the Fed may raise rates more quickly than expected.

Worries about the possibility of much higher interest rates have been at the centre of the market's troubles over the last month.

The yield on the key 10 year bond fell to 2.86% on Wednesday and to around 2.802% on Thursday - a sign that investors are selling out of shares and commodities and heading for the safest haven of all - US Treasuries. Visit for more information on this news.

Patterson Companies fell to the biggest loss in the S&P 500 after it reported weaker earnings for the latest quarter than analysts expected and said that its chief financial officer was leaving. Crude oil was again decidedly negative in the session.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 2 cents to $61.66 per barrel. Brent crude, the global standard, shed 87 cents to $65.76 per barrel. The euro fell to $1.2179 from $1.2202.

Gold was flat at $1,319.00.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 106.68 Japanese yen from 107.18 yen late Wednesday. The metal fell 1.6% this month.

The volatility also spread to Asian markets as the Nikkei 225 and Topix were both down 1.6% in overnight trading.

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