Tensions between the two nations flared anew last week after Trump signed legislation expressing US support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.
“We’re running out of time and the markets are finally woken up to ‘Hey, there’s a risk out there and maybe things aren’t going to be all good after all,”‘ said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading & derivatives at Charles Schwab.
The S&P 500 index fell 20.67 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 3,093.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 280.23 points, or 1 per cent, to 27,502.81. The index was briefly down 457 points.
The Nasdaq dropped 47.34 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 8,520.64. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 4.95 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,602.63.
Stocks have been racking up losses this week, giving up some of the market’s solid gains from a strong November rally fueled partly by investor optimism about the prospects for a trade deal between Washington and Beijing.
Pressure has been building on both sides to complete what Trump has called a limited “Phase 1” deal before the new tariffs on Chinese goods kick in December 15.
“We’re less than two weeks away from new tariffs that will be implemented on a bunch of consumer goods that have never had tariffs on them, and I think that’s when the consumer really starts to feel the pain,” Frederick said.
Wall Street is also weighing the potential for an expanded series of trade disputes. On Tuesday, Trump proposed tariffs on $US2.4 billion in French products in retaliation for a tax on global tech giants including Google, Amazon and Facebook. That follows a threat Monday to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum from Argentina and Brazil.
The lack of a trade deal before the