Asian markets plunge

An electronic board showing losses on Japan's Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday. Investors across Asia braced themselves for a potential trade war after China unveiled countermeasures against the US.
An electronic board showing losses on Japan's Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday. Investors across Asia braced themselves for a potential trade war after China unveiled countermeasures against the US.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Asian stock markets and the US dollar tumbled yesterday while gold rose, as investors braced themselves for a potential trade war after China unveiled countermeasures against the United States in retaliation over President Donald Trump's proposed tariff sanctions against the Asian economic giant.

The benchmark Straits Times Index fell as much as 2.7 per cent in intra-day trading before recovering slightly to end the day at 3,421.39, down 2 per cent, or 69.98 points. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong, Japan's Nikkei and the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index all fell yesterday as well.

Despite the violent market reactions, analysts think the US and China would want to avoid a full-blown trade war.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2018, with the headline 'Asian markets plunge'. Print Edition | Subscribe