Stocks extend decline as trade woes batter sentiment

Stocks extend decline as trade woes batter sentiment

FILE PHOTO: Men look at stock quotation boards outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) – Stocks extended their slump in early Asian trade on Monday, with U.S. equity futures off to a softer start for the week as worries over U.S.-China trade tensions battered investor sentiment.

S&P futures ESc1 were down 0.6 percent and the Dow futures YMc1 lost 0.7 percent, while Australian stocks declined 0.9 percent.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s comments that U.S. officials would raise tariff rates on Chinese imports if the two countries could not come to an agreement during a 90-day negotiating period fanned fresh concerns over U.S.-China trade relations.

Markets were already reeling on news last week that Canadian officials had arrested the chief financial officer of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei for extradition to the United States. The arrest was seen as an added threat to the resolution of a trade war between the world’s top two economies.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell more than 2 percent on Friday in a broad sell-off, posting their largest weekly percentage drops since March. [.N]

The dollar was on the backfoot after Friday’s soft U.S. jobs report raised worries that economic growth is moderating and the Federal Reserve may pause its tightening cycle sooner than previously thought.

The dollar was down 0.25 percent at 112.45 yen JPY= and the euro added 0.2 percent to $1.1404 EUR=.

Other data straddling the weekend showed China reporting far weaker than expected November exports and imports, underscoring slower global and domestic demand and raising the possibility authorities will take more measures to keep the country’s growth rate from slipping too much.

Editing by Shri Navaratnam

Reuters: Top News – Stocks extend decline as trade woes batter sentiment

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