Stocks opened lower on Monday after President Donald Trump threatened over Twitter to hike tariffs on Chinese imports, escalating tensions between the two countries.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 351 points, or 1.32%, to 26,154 in early trading. The S&P 500 index fell 36 points, or 1.23% to 2,909. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 124 points, or 1.51%, to 8,040.
On Sunday, Trump said in a tweet that he would raise tariffs to 25% from 10% on $50 billion in tech imports and $200 billion on other imports, starting Friday. He also suggested imposing a 25% duty on another $325 billion of imports that aren’t currently taxed.
He doubled down on his trade threats in an early tweet Monday.
“The United States has been losing, for many years, 600 to 800 Billion Dollars a year on Trade. With China we lose 500 Billion Dollars. Sorry, we’re not going to be doing that anymore!” he wrote.
His tweets come ahead of a trade discussion between the countries that was supposed to resume on Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal reported that China was considering pulling out, citing unnamed sources. But a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said Monday in Beijing that the talks were still on.
Trump’s comments also rocked global markets, especially in Asia. The Shanghai Composite index closed down 5.6% at 2,906.46 after plummeting more than 6% earlier in the day. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 2.9% to end at 29,209.82.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 1.8% to 12,187, while the CAC 40 in France slipped 2% at 5,441. Markets in London were closed for a bank holiday.
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