Stocks in Australia decline after US-China trade tensions escalate again

Stocks in Australia declined in morning trade on Monday following a re-escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions as President Donald Trump declared an impending increase in tariffs rates on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Australia’s ASX 200 slipped 0.56% in early trade, as almost all the sectors declined.

The mainland Chinese markets, watched in relation to Beijing’s ongoing trade spat with Washington, are set to open at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN after being out of action for much of last week due to holidays.

Markets in Japan and South Korea are closed on Monday for holidays.

Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart

Meanwhile, futures pointed to steep opening declines stateside. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures implied an opening decline of more than 450 points as of Sunday evening stateside. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 Index futures also pointed to declines for the two indexes at Monday’s open.

Trump said in a tweet Sunday afternoon that the current 10% levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will rise to 25% on Friday. He also threatened to impose 25% tariffs on an additional $325 billion of Chinese goods “shortly.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that China is considering cancelling its trade talks with the U.S. this week in light of Trump’s latest threats. Citing a source, the Journal said Beijing had been surprised by the new threats.

“President Trump set the tone for the new week expressing dissatisfaction at the pace of China trade negotiations amid Beijing’s attempt to renegotiate,” Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank, wrote in a morning note.

“An increase in tariffs would be bad news for risk assets and would (threaten) the prospect of a global growth recovery,” Catril said.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.556 after seeing highs above 97.8 last week.

The Japanese yen, widely seen as a safe-have currency, traded at 110.67 against the dollar after seeing lows above

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