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Crude oil and global equity markets tumbled on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump upped the ante in a trade dispute with China, reviving investor jitters about the impact a tariff war could have on the world economy.
MSCI's gauge of worldwide equity markets fell more than 1 percent and stocks on Wall Street skidded more than 2 percent after Trump threatened late on Thursday to add another $100 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods.
The U.S. equity rout picked up during a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in Chicago on the U.S. economy. Powell said it was too early to tell if the threatened tariffs would materialise or the effect they might have.
"What Powell is signalling to market participants is that the Fed is not swayed or rattled by equity market volatility at this point. That's the reason for the additional selling pressure," said Chad Morganlander, a portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors in Florham Park, New Jersey.
"The Fed has the intestinal fortitude to wait until it creeps into credit conditions and causes financial stress," he said.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3>, which closed before Powell's speech, fell 0.4 percent but ended the week 1.15 percent higher.
The STOXX Europe index <.STOXX> of companies in 17 European countries fell 0.35 percent, with the trade-exposed auto sector <.SXAP> the leading sectoral loser, down 1.7 percent.
Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei <.N225> nudged down slightly to regain a measure of calm after an initial knee-jerk reaction to Trump's latest tariff proposal.
Defensive stocks such as utilities or telecoms were among a handful of European sectors to end the day in higher.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> closed down 572.46 points, or 2.34 percent, to 23,932.76. The S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 58.37 points, or 2.19 percent, to 2,604.47 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 161.44 points, or 2.28 percent, to 6,915.11.
"It's got higher values; financial liquidity is contracting. You came into the year with a little too much optimism. You got rising rates going on, you got rising inflation fears," he said.
A weak U.S. unemployment report, which nonetheless highlighted underlying labour market strength, helped push U.S. Treasury prices higher as the economy created the fewest jobs in six months in March.
Oil prices tumbled, with U.S. crude falling more than 2 percent.
U.S. Treasury and euro zone government bond yields dipped as the trade spat raised the prospect of a full-blown trade war between the world's two largest economies.
The yield on 10-year German government debt, the euro zone benchmark, dipped 2.7 basis points in late trading to 0.494 percent, erasing much of Thursday's rise
Benchmark 10-year notes
Mike Terwilliger, portfolio manager of Resource Liquid Alternatives for the Resource Credit Income Fund, said nearly every news event seems to register on the market's Richter scale, though investors have been dealing with some relatively weighty challenges this year.
"The recent decline in Treasuries is largely 'Tweet related' versus some fundamental shift in the view of inflation or economic growth," he said.
The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.37 percent, with the euro
U.S. gold futures
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)