US-China trade worries send global stocks lower

By Associated Press

World stocks indexes are falling Thursday after the Trump administration said it will consider an even higher tax rate of 25 percent on $200 billion in imports from China, raising the stakes in the trade war between the two largest economies. In the U.S. most groups of stocks are lower, with energy and basic materials companies taking some of the worst losses.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index gave up 12 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,800 as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 161 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,172. The Nasdaq composite slipped 22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,684. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,666.

U.S. stock indexes mostly fell a day earlier as worries about trade sent industrial companies lower and energy firms fell with oil prices. The losses were limited as Apple, the most valuable U.S. company, made its biggest gain in 18 months.

TRADE TALK: The Trump administration said it might put a 25 percent tax on $200 billion in imports from China. That is up from a 10 percent tax it proposed in June. The government will seek public comment on the higher tariffs. A hearing on the levies is scheduled for Aug. 20-23.

LOSERS: Industrial and basic materials companies fell for the second day in a row. Aerospace company Boeing lost 1.6 percent to $347.20 and Rockwell Automation slid 2.1 percent to $180.36. Earnings also affected materials makers: chemical company Dow Dupont fell 2.8 percent to $66.06 and packaging maker WestRock plunged 6.9 percent to $53.18.

Companies that pay large dividends, including utilities and real estate investment trusts, held up better than the rest of the market as investors looked for safer options.

OVERSEAS: The DAX index in export-reliant Germany tumbled 1.6 percent and the CAC 40 in France lost 0.7 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 1.2 percent after the Bank of England raised its main interest rate by a quarter point.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index sank 1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.2 percent. The Kospi in South Korea shed 1.6 percent.

TRIPPED UP: TripAdvisor sank 13.1 percent to $50.12 as the travel booking site reported weaker sales than analysts expected and said revenue from hotels decreased.

JUICED UP: Tesla climbed 10.3 percent to $331.77. The electric car maker said production of its lower-cost Model 3 sedan is growing and CEO Elon Musk said the company doesn’t expect to need to raise more money from investors.

SNAKE EYES: Wynn Resorts reported profit and sales that missed estimates following a decrease in income from its Macau operation. The stock dropped 5.4 percent to $151.36. That comes a day after Caesars Entertainment said it expects weak results in the current quarter because of fewer scheduled events and lower room rates in Las Vegas. Caesars added 0.8 percent to $9.70 after a 15 percent drop Wednesday.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 3 percent.

CENTRAL BANKS: The Bank of England raised its key rate, as expected, but said it would be cautious about further increases as Britain prepares to leave the European Union. The bank’s main interest rate is the highest it’s been since 2009, during the global financial crisis. The pound fell to $1.3061 from $1.3130.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 0.1 percent to $67.58 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 0.4 percent to $72.10 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.41 yen from 111.56 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1630 from $1.1664.

This article provided by NewsEdge.