Trade war: Indian equities tumble on further protectionist measures

Daniel Fowler
April 7, 2018

The trade war between the US and China is getting intense and it now looks set to cause disruption in global trade and trigger high volatility in financial markets. While the Sensex closed 351 points or 1.05% lower to 33,019 level, Nifty fell 116 points to 10,128.

Earlier, the Trump administration proposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports from China to protest Beijing's alleged theft of USA technology.

Among the Sensex pack, 25 declined with Yes Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, L&T, Axis Bank and Tata Steel all losing more than 2% each.

UPL (-4.3%), Vedanta (-3.9%), Tata Steel (-3.6%), Hindalco (-3.4%), and Titan (-3.1%) were the top losers.

Mishra Dhatu Nigam shares ended flat on the first day of listing while shares of ICICI Securities closed at Rs. 441.50 on the NSE on debut, down 15 percent from its issue price of Rs 520 a share.

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China's move led to worries that the two nations may be heading towards an all-out trade war.

Key Indian equity indices tumbled during the late-afternoon session on Wednesday to provisionally close on a lower note after further trade protectionist measures were imposed on each other by two major global economies. The BSE metal index slumped 2.7%, while the banking index fell over 1.5%. The selling was broad-based with the small- and mid-cap universe underperforming the large-caps.

China's retaliation came after trading hours for Japan's Nikkei, which added 0.2 per cent in thin volume, while Chinese blue chips ended down 0.2 per cent.

The escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions also dragged down global equity markets, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 1.31 percent as of 1008 GMT. The index began trading in the green in the early part of Wednesday's session but after China announced a tit-for-tat measure against the U.S., the sensex lost almost 400 points in a little over an hour and closed near the day's low of 32,973. Tokyo opened strongly but stocks sank throughout the trading day, finishing only 0.13 percent up at 21,319.55. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.6 percent to 24,033.36.

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