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Wall St sinks on Trump tariffs, interest rate worries

Wall St sinks on Trump tariffs, interest rate worries

Stocks on Wall Street had mostly traded lower before Trump's actions, weighed by remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to the Senate Banking Committee in Congress and New York Fed President William Dudley in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"Hawkish comments from Powell have fuelled market speculation of the Federal Reserve raising USA interest rates four times this year - ultimately supporting the dollar", said Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst at FXTM. Analysts are watching to see if Powell adjusts his tone today.

The S&P 500 Index sank to session lows and fell below its 100-day moving average, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 500 points after the US president added to earlier confusion on the fate of proposed tariffs by announcing the levies in a meeting with industry executives. US stock indexes fell sharply, with the S&P 500 index down more than 1.5 percent in what would be a third consecutive day of losses.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.5 percent and headed for its third day of losses.

Ahead of the bell, stocks futures were briefly higher after a pair of economic releases that pointed to tighter labor market and firmer inflation. Meanwhile, Fed's preferred PCE inflation index advanced 0.4% and core was up 0.3% in January.

The Dow gave up 4.3% in February, notching its biggest monthly drop in more than two years and paring its advance over the past 12 months to 20%. Yet the Fed officials' comments were overshadowed by President Donald Trump's announcement of a plan to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the sort of move Fed policymakers have warned about since the Republican took office previous year. "My personal outlook for the economy has strengthened since December", he said.

The British pound slipped 0.1 percent to $1.3749. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

What else could help drive markets?

March 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell sharply on Thursday after President Donald Trump said the United States would impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum, adding fears of a tit-for-tat trade war to growing worries about higher interest rates.




"In the USA we have at least three rate hikes this year, but in the euro zone, there was some exaggeration about where inflation was heading so that is now being priced out and yields are moving to the downside", said DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz. That data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Economists expect that some people may also put the extra cash from lower taxes toward paying down debt or sock it away for a rainy day. A reading of at least 50 indicates improving conditions.

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks sold off.

FCA US, the USA unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) sales fell 1% in February to 168,326 vehicles. "It would raise the price of autos, look at the auto stocks".

Reports out Thursday showed recent tax cuts buoyed Americans' spending power in January, unemployment claims fell last week to an nearly five-decade low, and factories expanded in February at the fastest rate since 2004.

Toronto-Dominion Bank also rallied after reporting quarterly earnings that beat market expectations.

That is substantially more than the £10.75 per share or £11.4 billion that Fox has offered for the 61 percent of Sky it does not already own.

What are other assets doing?

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