US stocks close lower amid trade concerns, tech rout

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 3, 2018
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U.S. stocks ended lower on Monday, the first trading day in April, as worries about trade issues and a sharp decline in the technology sector weighed on the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 458.92 points, or 1.90 percent, to 23,644.19. The S&P 500 decreased 58.99 points, or 2.23 percent, to 2,581.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 193.33 points, or 2.74 percent, to 6,870.12.

The VIX Index, which measures the market's expectation of future volatility, surged 16.47 percent to 23.26 in late trading on Monday.

China suspended tariff concessions on 128 items of U.S. products including pork and fruits starting Monday, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to impose a tariff of 15 percent on 120 items of products imported from the United States including fruits and related products, and a tariff of 25 percent on eight items of imports including pork and related products from the country, according to a statement posted on the ministry website.

The statement said it was a countermeasure in response to a previous U.S. move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Despite worldwide objections, the U.S. administration decided to impose a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum, with tariffs on imports from countries including China.

A sharp decline in tech sector, leading by Amazon, also rattled nervous investors. Shares of Amazon slumped 5.21 percent in the late trading on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that Amazon was scamming the U.S. Postal Service, adding the service loses "billions of dollars" delivering packages for the e-commerce giant.

On the economic front, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) decreased 1.5 percentage points from the February reading of 60.8 percent to 59.3 percent in March, missing market estimates, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported on Monday.

In other markets, oil prices retreated on Monday as concerns about trade tensions between China and the United States weighed on the market.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery dropped 1.93 U.S. dollars to settle at 63.01 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery lost 1.70 dollars to close at 67.64 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index increased against most other major currencies in late trading on Monday. The index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, rose 0.08 percent at 90.046 in late trading. 

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