Following the interruption of a chuckling audience at the United Nations general assembly late last month after he boasted about his administration’s accomplishments, Donald Trump was quickly back on message.
“Since my election, we have added $10 trillion of wealth – the stock market is at an all-time high in history,” said the US president.
The 1,898-seat auditorium in New York had barely emptied after Trump’s otherwise hawkish speech – in which he took aim at China, Iran and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) – when the markets began to turn.
The S&P 500 index on Wall Street has since fallen by as much as 7 per cent amid its longest losing streak since before the president’s election in November 2016. The picture hasn’t been much prettier across the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Nasdaq Composite.
With an eye on the upcoming US mid-term elections, Trump sought out a more sympathetic audience in a phone interview with Fox News late on Wednesday, where he laid blame for the stock market rout firmly at the door the Federal Reserve, the country’s central bank.
“The Fed is going loco,” Trump bellowed, using the Spanish word for “crazy”. “They’re raising interest rates and it’s ridiculous.”
Most market commentators, however, have put the Wall Street-led sell-off across international markets down to mounting concerns about the tariff face-off between the US and China. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week cut its global economic forecast, saying world growth is plateauing as trade tensions take their toll.
While global equity markets rallied on Friday after a pretty torrid week, commentators are now debating whether equities have just been through a brief correction or have felt the initial rumblings of a full-on bear market.
Amundi Asset Management, Europe’s largest asset manager which owns