US stocks post weekly losses amid concerns over trade tensions

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 26, 2019
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A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, on Aug. 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

U.S. Stocks posted weekly losses as investors were concerned about trade uncertainties and a possible economic recession.

For the week, the Dow erased 1 percent, the S&P 500 lost 1.4 percent, and the Nasdaq declined 1.8 percent.

China will impose additional tariffs on U.S. imports worth about 75 billion U.S. dollars in response to the newly announced U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese goods, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced Friday.

Based on laws and approved by the State Council, a total of 5,078 U.S. products will be subject to additional tariffs of 10 percent or 5 percent.

The tariff hikes will be implemented in two batches and take effect at 12:01 p.m. Beijing Time on Sept. 1 and at 12:01 p.m. on Dec. 15, respectively, the commission said in a statement.

China's imposition of additional tariffs is a forced response to U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism, the commission said.

The U.S. government announced on Aug. 15 that it will impose additional tariffs of 10 percent on Chinese goods worth about 300 billion dollars, effective on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, respectively, in two batches.

The news came at a time when the U.S. market has already been worrying about a possible economic recession contributed by trade tensions between the United States and its major trading partners.

Trump on Friday afternoon tweeted that his administration will raise the 25-percent tariff already placed on 250 billion dollars' worth of Chinese imports to 30 percent, and that the 10-percent tariff on the remaining 300 billion dollars' worth of Chinese goods scheduled for Sept. 1 will go up to 15 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a much anticipated speech on Friday at the central bank's annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Contrary to what the market had hoped, Powell did not give a clear signal about further interest rate cuts. He pledged to "act as appropriate to sustain the expansion," a phrase that he has used for several times in recent months.

While Powell noted that U.S. economy has continued to perform well overall, he pointed out three factors that are weighing on the favorable outlook, namely slowing global growth, trade policy uncertainty, and muted inflation.

He said the global growth outlook has been deteriorating since the middle of last year. Trade policy uncertainty seems to be playing a role in the global slowdown and in weak manufacturing and capital spending in the United States.

Powell talked at length about trade policy uncertainties. He said fitting trade policy uncertainty into the Fed's policy framework is a new challenge.

He said anything that affects the outlook for employment and inflation could also affect the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and that could include uncertainty about trade policy.

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