Stocks take heavy losses over Chinese tariffs, tech sector woes

If the conflict occurred only between the US and China Việt Nam would have a good chance to export to the US

Asian stock markets were mixed in early trading Wednesday as investors pondered the latest volley of tariff measures and threats between the US and China.

The S&P 500 fell 58 points, or 2.2 percent, to 2,581, slightly above its low for the year reached February 8.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.9 percent. The Nasdaq composite slumped 238 points, or 3.4 percent, to 6,824.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.1 percent to 3,129.55 points and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.9 percent to 21,199.98.

Gains in Tokyo stocks came despite a Bank of Japan survey showing the first softening of business sentiment among Japan's big manufacturers in two years, with the materials sector most directly affected by USA trade tariffs showing the sharpest declines. But the day's biggest loser was the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which plummeted 2.7 percent to close in correction mode, or 10 percent from its market high.

Commodities are broadly lower, with WTI crude oil futures -2% at $62.24/bbl and copper -2.6%; among precious metals, gold +0.7% at $1,346.70/oz.

US drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to March 29, bringing the total down to 797, the first decline in three weeks. China slapped penalties ranging from 25% on American pork to 15% on fruit, China's finance ministry said.

"There's already back-channel talks going on", new chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow said on Fox Business, adding that the tariffs and comments on the tariffs were just stages in a process of negotiation.

We've been warning since early this year that stocks were getting ahead of themselves.

Canucks legends Daniel and Henrik Sedin officially announce retirement
Daniel: 1,303 games played; 391 goals; 647 assists; 1,038 points; plus-minus of plus-149; 17:00 time-on-ice. The differences were subtle - Henrik more of a playmaker at center, Daniel more of a finisher on the wing.

INVESTOR INSIGHT: "The much-anticipated USA tariffs list finally saw the light of day and would be one for markets to digest in today's session", said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG.

Microsoft rose 1 percent and Amazon climbed 1.3 percent. It wasn't the only market favorite to fall out of favor Monday.

In the cash market, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 2640.87, up 2.0%.

Elsewhere in the region, Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.1 percent to 5,752.70. Instead, it could flow into more traditional stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Wall Street is also fretting about rising trade tensions, especially with China.

Investors will also be watching the testimony of Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg before Congress on Tuesday and the possibility of further attacks against Amazon by President Trump through his Twitter account. Trump repeatedly criticized the company of late over issues including taxes and Amazon's shipping deals with the U.S. Postal Service.

"A reassessment of technology as well as what the trade issues might mean for exporting USA companies are hitting the market at the same time", said Rick Meckler, president, LibertyView Capital Management, Jersey City, New Jersey. Brent crude, used to price global oils, slid $1.52, or 2.2 percent, to $67.82 a barrel in London.

The index hit a new low for the year, at one point falling as much as 811 points to 23,344.52 points. CBS rose 2.5 percent.

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