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U.S. stocks drop on China trade worries; Argentine peso roiled


Reuters NEW YORK
By April Joyner
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The rally in U.S. stocks came to a halt on Thursday on new concerns that the U.S.-Chinese trade dispute will intensify, while economic turmoil in Argentina and Turkey sent those countries' currencies tumbling.
Stock markets and major government bond yields have risen in recent weeks on hopes that a global trade war could be averted, particularly as leaders of the United States and Canada expressed optimism they could reach a new North American Free Trade Agreement by Friday.
Investor sentiment darkened, however, on the prospect that a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods may likely take effect in September.
President Donald Trump has told aides he wants to move ahead on a plan to impose tariffs on Chinese imports worth $200 billion next week, Bloomberg News reported.
"It's not surprising that the administration would push on China at this point," said Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
As a result, she said, "There's added uncertainty as to whether or not imports are going to be more expensive for the U.S. consumer, and if imports are more expensive, what implications they have for inflation."
The Argentine peso > tumbled again, even after the central bank hiked its benchmark interest rate by 15 percentage points to a dizzying 60 percent on Thursday in a bid to control rampant inflation and stem the currency's slide. The peso finished at a record closing low of 39.25 per U.S. dollar.
The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said it was studying a request from Argentina to speed up disbursement from a $50 billion loan program, but still wants Argentina to adopt stronger fiscal and monetary policies.
Turkey's lira > was pressured after reports that the country's central bank deputy governor and rate-setter, Erkan Kilimci, is leaving the bank. Earlier this month, Turkey's currency crisis sent the lira to a record low against the U.S. dollar and sparked concerns about emerging markets investments.
U.S. Treasury yields fell further on Thursday as investors moved to safe havens following the report of Trump's tariffs plan and the Argentine peso's tumble. The yields had declined earlier after a measure of underlying inflation just managed to hit the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target.[US/]
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes > last rose 7/32 in price to yield 2.8568 percent, down from 2.882 percent late on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 177.95 points, or 0.68 percent, to 25,946.62, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 17.15 points, or 0.59 percent, to 2,896.89, and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 33.85 points, or 0.42 percent, to 8,075.84.
The MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS>, which tracks shares in 47 countries, fell from a five-month high and was down 0.6 percent.
The dollar index <.DXY> rose 0.15 percent, with the euro > down 0.38 percent to $1.1662.
Earlier, European shares fell on concerns over the effects on trade tensions between the United States and China, including reduced Chinese demand for exports. A pan-European stock index <.STOXX> closed down 0.3 percent.
U.S. crude rose 0.9 percent to $70.15 per barrel and Brent was last at $77.87, up 0.53 percent, as crude shipments from Iran and Venezuela were disrupted and U.S. crude inventories dropped. [O/R]
(Reporting by April Joyner; additional reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan in London and Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo; editing by Steve Orlofsky and Leslie Adler)

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First Published: Aug 31 2018 | 1:12 AM IST

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