EM stocks wilt, currencies slide on Trump tariff threat

Emerging-market shares fell on Monday on trade conflict re-emerged between the United States and China when US President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods if an agreement was not reached soon.

MSCI’s index for emerging-market stocks fell 1.5% as investors ran to safety of bonds, gold and other less-risky assets.

The Chinese yuan led declines by emerging-market currencies, heading for its biggest drop in 10 months.

ng for its biggest drop in 10 months.

Trump ramped up pressure on China on Sunday to reach a trade deal, saying he would raise US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon.

China’s foreign ministry said it still hoped the United States would meet China halfway and said a Chinese delegation was preparing to go to the US. The Wall Street Journal had reported that China was considering cancelling trade talks scheduled for this week following Trump’s threats.

Equities fell across the developing world, particularly in Asia, as negotiations to end a trade war between the world’s largest economies were thrown into doubt.

Mainland China shares plunged almost 6%, their worst one-day fall since February 2016. The yuan was set for its biggest drop in 10 months.

Oil prices slumped taking a toll on currencies of net exporters like Russia’s rouble.

Turkey’s lira weakened against the dollar but was off a low of 6.02, which it reached amid concern over legal challenges to local election results in Istanbul. The lira has slumped 11% so far this year.

South Africa’s rand fell as worries grew over elections on Wednesday. Victory for the ruling African National Congress is almost certain, but its majority is likely to shrink.

Source: moneyweb.co.za