US stocks tumble on trade war, weakening outlook

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.5 per cent to close the session at 25,896.44.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.5 per cent to close the session at 25,896.44.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished a bruising session sharply lower Monday (Aug 12) as worries about slowing growth and the protracted US-China trade war hit banking shares and the broader market.

Adding to the dim prospects for a US-China trade deal and a steep drop in US Treasury yields was mounting unrest in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protesters shut the city's airport.

"China is still in the epicentre of the turmoil, with the lingering trade tensions and the escalating protests in Hong Kong both weighing on risk assets globally," Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said in a commentary.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.5 per centor 389.73 points to close the session at 25,896.44.

The broad-based S&P 500 slid 1.2 per cent to finish at 2,882.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also shed 1.2 per cent to end at 7,863.41.

Analysts said the latest escalations between Washington and Beijing on trade marred sentiment. Goldman Sachs said last week's maneuvers suggested the fight "appears to have escalated into a full-blown conflict." The yield on the 10-year US Treasury, often seen as a barometer of expectations for future economic growth, slumped sharply.

Lower yields translated into a dismal session for large banks, which typically garner lower profits when interest rates fall. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America all lost more than two percent.

Investment giant BlackRock tumbled 2.4 per cent after its long-term private capital fund reached an agreement to invest in Sports illustrated owner Authentic Brands Group. The stake is worth about US$875 million (S$1213.45 million), according to financial media.