Nikkei loses 515 points as Asian markets fall after Trump tariff announcement

Carla Harmon
March 2, 2018

The move will not directly hit China that hard, with data showing that Canada supplies 16 percent of USA demand versus China's 2 percent and is by far the largest steel exporter followed by Brazil and South Korea.

China has indicated it could retaliate against US steel tariffs by targeting imports of USA agricultural commodities, such as soybeans of which America is the largest supplier.

It was the latest move by the president to engage in trade actions after campaigning to revitalize the "forgotten" workers of the country.

Meanwhile, steelmaker Posco and Hyundai Steel dropped 3.04 percent and 2.61 percent, respectively.

A spokeswoman for the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America said the tariff could pose a problem because the type of pipe and steel used to make thick-walled interstate pipelines are hard to source domestically.

"This is the first shot across the bow over a trade war", said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR.

Those details give Cohn an incentive to stick around as the tariff policy gets finalized.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 36 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,677. It had only four such days a year ago.

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the USA would impose new tariffs on imports on steel.

In particular, the department cited overcapacity in China, the world's No. 1 steel producer, whose "excess capacity exceeds the total USA steel-making capacity".

Chad Bown, an economist and trade specialist, says the tariffs will drive up the price of steel and aluminum for the multiple other industries that use the metals.

But trade hawks like Peter Navarro - a presidential aide who, after weeks on the sidelines, was by the president's side as he made his remarks - appeared to have won the day.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker led criticism of Washington, saying the EU "will react firmly" to defend its interests.

Shares of US steelmakers surged on the tariff news. U.S. Steel and AK Steel soared 8% and 11%, respectively. But shares of companies that use lots of steel fell, as did exporters.

Stocks of smaller companies, which tend to do more of their business in the United States and may not feel as much pain from a global trade war, held up better than the rest of the market.

The disclosure follows a report in the Wall Street Journal that the SEC sent subpoenas to dozens of companies demanding information about initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies, which aren't bound by the same rigorous rules that govern public offerings of stock.

"We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk", he added. "I think this is going to jack up prices and backfire", the executive said.

FED SPEAK: Powell's testimony before the Senate Finance Committee was highly anticipated, as worries about the possibility of much higher interest rates have been at the center of the market's troubles over the last month.

The recommended tariff for aluminum was 7.7 percent for all imports, with options for a 23.6 percent tariff on products from China, Hong Kong, Venezuela and Vietnam, plus quotas that would slightly reduce or maintain imports at 2017 levels.

On Wednesday night, Bloomberg reported that an announcement was imminent. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 65 cents to settle at $60.99 per barrel. The contract lost 65 cents to settle at $60.99 per barrel on Thursday.

The April gold contract was down US$12.70 to US$1,305.20 an ounce and the May copper contract was down one cent to US$3.12 a pound. The euro inched up to $1.2207 from $1.2203, and the British pound slipped to $1.3732 from $1.3771.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 48.73 points to 15,393.95 in a largely broad-based decline.

All of that could mean lost jobs in other industries and higher costs for consumers on a wide range of goods.

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