Stock markets around the world fell sharply on Tuesday as nervous investors increasingly set deadlines for more US tariffs on Chinese imports.
Markets are also eyeing US and European interest rate decisions coming this week and the results of the UK general election on Thursday amid uncertainty over plans to leave the European Union.
Benchmarks in London and Frankfurt were down in afternoon trading. Tokyo and Hong Kong ended with losses while Shanghai closed higher after spending most of the day in the negative. Wall Street appeared ready to open low.
Washington is due to implement new tariff hikes on $ 160 billion of Chinese goods in Beijing’s battle over technology ambitions and trade surpluses.
Investors expect President Donald Trump to halt or scrap the increase, but negotiations on an interim “Phase 1” agreement announced in October have failed to agree on details.
In a report, Stephen Ines of AxiTrader said, “If the tariffs are not postponed, all hell can go loose.” It tells investors that “they are still led down the trade negotiation garden route only to end up on the cliff edge of trade purification.”
Chinese spokespersons have appealed for a swift resolution to this fight that threatens to cool global economic growth. Trump said last week that he could be prepared to wait until next year’s presidential election.
London’s FTSE 100 fell 1% to 7,161 and Germany’s DAX fell 1.4% to 12,916. France’s CAC 40 was down 0.9% to 5,784.
On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures declined more than 0.3%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.1% at 2,917.32. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed down 0.1% at 23,410.19 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.2% at 26,436.62.
Sol’s Cospi rose 0.4% to 2,098.00 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.3% to 6,706.90 points. India’s Sensex lost 0.5% to open at 40,270.11. Taiwan and Singapore declined, while New Zealand advanced.
Forecasters expect very little change from the US Federal Reserve when its latest policy meeting ends on Wednesday.
The US central bank has cut its benchmark lending rate three times this year as chairman Jerome Powell described insurance against economic tightness and slowing global growth from a tariff battle with Beijing.
Not too surprising at a meeting of the European Central Bank on Thursday. Forecasters expect the bank to reaffirm its commitment to dovish bias amid warnings about European economic weakness and increased risk.
British leaders are looking at Thursday’s election for 650 seats in the House of Commons to break an impasse from future departures with the European Union and London’s trade relationship.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed for a vote more than two years ago in hopes of winning a majority. He has promised to pull Britain out of the EU by 31 January.
The opposition Labor Party is promising to restart the divorce deal. Then give voters the option in a referendum to leave the EU on those terms or remain in the referendum.
Impact of China: Chinese consumer inflation hit a four-and-a-half year high of 4.5 percent due to pork shortage. Which increased food costs. Pork prices rose 110.2% from a year earlier. The outbreak of African boar fever has prompted farmers and Chinese officials to quickly quench, destroy or kill millions of pigs. Forecasters noted that the peak of the outbreak is passing and pork prices have risen by only 3.8% over the previous month.
US crude fell 31 cents to $ 58.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed 18 cents lower at $ 59.02 on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 32 cents to $ 63.93 per barrel in London. It lost 14 cents at $ 14.25 last season.
Currency: The dollar was flat at 108.55 yen while the euro advanced from $ 1.1064 to $ 1.1080.