The Dow drops as much as 225 points after Trump says he expects to ramp up tariffs against China

Oliver Contreras – Pool/Getty ImagesUS President Donald Trump
  • Stocks fell after President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal he expects to increase tariff rates on Chinese imports.
  • Concerns about the prospect of slowing economic growth and rising rates have pummelled equities in recent months.
  • Follow the US indices in real time here.

Stocks fell Tuesday as Wall Street worried global trade tensions could weigh on growth, a day after President Donald Trump said he expects protectionist policies between the largest economies to increase.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9%, or 225 points. The Nasdaq Composite sank 0.8%, and the S&P 500 shed 0.6%.

“Markets could remain volatile ahead of pivotal developments later this week, including minutes from the Federal Reserve and a meeting between the US and Chinese presidents,” said Vincent Heaney, a strategist at UBS.

On Monday, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he expects to move forward with a proposal to more than double the tariff rate from 10% to 25% on $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports in January. The comment comes ahead of an expected meeting between the president and China’s Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina that begins Friday.

He also said if negotiations between Washington and Beijing don’t go well, his administration could place duties on the remainder of shipments from China to the US. Apple, whose products could be included in that tranche, slid more than 1.4% to $US172.10.

Signs of whether trade tensions or recent market turbulence could influence the Federal Reserve’s rate path will be closely watched for in meeting minutes out Thursday. Tuesday morning, Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said it’s “especially important” to pay attention to new economic data as monetary policy approaches a neutral stance.

The dollar climbed against a basket of peers following the comment, and Treasury yields steadied. Home price gains were the weakest in nearly two years in September, rising 5.5% compared with 5.7% a year earlier, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index showed early Tuesday.

Major US shopping days around the Thanksgiving holiday failed to offer much relief, even to retailers that brought in a record number of sales this year.Amazon sank more than 1% even after the e-commerce giant said the most products in its history were ordered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF was down 0.4%.

Oil prices were slightly higher, with West Texas Intermediate trading just below $US52 per barrel and Brent around $US61 a barrel. Prices are still deep in a bear market, having fallen more than a quarter over the past three months. OPEC and other major producers led by Russia are set to discuss coordinated production cuts next week.

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