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

The S&P 500 fell by 2.3 percent, after recovering from a decline of around 3 percent.

USA stocks dropped in early trading as weakness in technology shares persisted amid renewed Presidential criticism of Amazon.com and retaliatory tariffs from China. CBS rose 2.5 per cent.

Formerly high-flying technology companies like Microsoft and Alphabet fell, and Intel took a steep drop following a report in Bloomberg News that Apple plans to start using its own chips in Mac computers as early as 2020, replacing Intel. The Dow Jones rose 0.4% after popping more than 1% higher. Eastern time. It dropped 2.2 percent a day earlier.

Despite its recent losses, Amazon stock is still up about 18 percent in 2018.

Amazon.com (AMZN.O) was the biggest drag on the S&P 500, down 5.2 percent, as President Donald Trump continued his twitter attacks on the online retailer. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 623 points, or 2.6 percent, to 23,480.

The Dow moved higher as gains in shares of Nike and those of Johnson & Johnson, recently up 2.9 percent and 2.2 percent respectively, outweighed declines in shares of General Electric and those of Walt Disney, down 1.1 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

"Although the macroeconomic impact of tariffs may appear limited when measured by the dollar value of goods affected, if such tariffs are seen by global market participants as signaling an escalation in trade tensions, they will eventually have a broader macroeconomic impact by dampening market sentiment as well as business investment decisions", said Atsi Sheth, managing director at Moody's Investors Service said in a note to clients. It finished the day down 459 points, or 1.9 percent.

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

Bond prices turned higher. The market spent several more days bouncing around, and when China did place tariffs on a small number of exports, stocks plunged.

Among a few bright spots, Humana HUM.N jumped 4.4 percent Reuters reported Walmart WMT.N was in early-stage talks with the health insurer about developing closer ties, with acquisition discussed as one possibility.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.71, or 2.7 percent, to $63.23 a barrel in NY. The index lost 3%, which is set to be its biggest one-day percentage drop since February 8, as well as its sixth daily drop of the past eight sessions. Hong Kong's Hang Seng bucked the trend, ending up 0.2 per cent at 30,137.49.

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. The euro edged up to $1.2308 from $1.2306.

A barrel of USA crude gained 50 cents to $63.51 in NY while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 48 cents to $68.12 a barrel in London. Natural gas slid 5 cents to $2.68 per 1,000 cubic feet.

  • Darren Santiago