Asians stocks fall on US-China trade tensions, yen rises

China's imposition of tariffs on a US$3 billion list of USA goods including pork and apples was expected, but still helped send markets down in what has become a jittery environment over trade war fears, said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis. It's too soon to call it the beginning of a trade war, but for now, investors aren't sticking around to find out.

The S&P 500 Index slumped after its first quarterly retreat since 2015, with volumes 17% below average.

It was a broad sell-off: The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 758 points at its low in afternoon trading before clawing back some of its losses. The NASDAQ dropped by 3% and the S&P dropped 2.4%.

The S&P 500 fell 69 points, or 2.6 percent, to 2,570. The Nasdaq Composite was off by 3.4 percent before recovering to end down 2.74 percent. The Dow Jones rose 0.4% after popping more than 1% higher. The Nasdaq composite fell 19 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,044.

Shares of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) ended the day down 5.1 percent after the company was reported to be making 2,000 Model 3s per week, missing its 2,500 target.

For its part, Amazon has attracted the ire of Mr. Trump, who seems convinced the online retailer is somehow abusing the U.S. Postal Service.

Shares of Boeing Co., for instance, continued their recent slide on Monday, losing 1.7 per cent, as investors fretted about whether the US airplane maker, a major supplier to Chinese state-owned airlines, will have its wings clipped by retaliatory Chinese action.

Most other leading technology companies were higher, with Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet and Intel all up about one percent or more.

Amazon fell another $70.84, or 4.9 percent, to $1,376.50.

Trader Leon Montana works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, April 2, 2018. Starting Monday, China is increasing the tariff rate on eight imported US products, including pork, by 25 percent.

The electric automaker's losses extend last week's near 14-per cent decline as investigations of a fatal California crash and a Moody's credit downgrade weighed on the stock.

Copper rose 2 cent to $3.05 a pound.

Consumer discretionary (+0.8%) is the early sector leader, while technology (+0.6%) and financials (+0.6%) also outperform.

The dollar edged down to 105.87 yen from Monday's 105.89 yen as currency traders shifted money into the Japanese currency, seen as a haven in times of market turmoil. Hong Kong's Hang Seng bucked the trend, ending up 0.2 per cent at 30,137.49.

The price of gold climbed 1.2 percent to $1,343.60 an ounce and silver jumped 2 percent to $16.60 an ounce as some investors took money out of stocks and looked for safer investments. The euro fell to $1.2267 from $1.2300. Brent crude, used to price global oils, slid $1.52, or 2.2 percent, to $67.82 a barrel in London.

  • Eleanor Harrison