You are here

US stocks end mostly up as Trump stops short of tariffs on China

By AFP - May 30,2020 - Last updated at May 30,2020

Protester holds a banner reading " don't touch MCA its our plant" as they demonstrate against the Renault automaker's decision to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide, including 4,600 in France, in Maubeuge, on May 30 (AFP photo)

NEW YORK — Wall Street finished mostly higher on Friday as US President Donald Trump stopped short of threatening tariffs on China, though European stocks tumbled on concerns that mounting tensions between the world's two largest economies could spiral further.

      Trading in US stocks was choppy throughout the session, with major indices sinking into negative territory as a mid-afternoon White House speech by President Donald Trump began.

      Trump harshly criticised China's handling of the coronavirus. He announced new actions including an end to US funding for the World Health Organisation.

       He also ordered probes of Chinese companies listed on American financial markets.

      But Trump made no mention of the "phase one" trade agreement with China that walked back earlier trade tariffs, nor did he threaten new levies on US imports from the country.

      "When (Trump) first started talking, he sounded pretty hawkish, there was an initial knee-jerk selloff," said analyst Patrick O'Hare. "When it became clear he wasn't saying anything about tariffs, there was a snapback rally."

      While the Dow finished narrowly lower, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended solidly higher.

      Many analysts expect Trump to continue to rail against China in the months ahead as he faces a challenging path to re-election in light of COVID-19 and the resulting economic slowdown.

      Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman cautioned that "the possible collapse of the 'phase one' (trade deal) poses a risk to the global economic recovery, especially since the exact damage of the virus is still uncertain."

      Earlier, bourses in Paris, Frankfurt and London retreated in anticipation of Trump's speech, which was delivered after European markets closed.


       Renault hits skids 


      Renault was the biggest loser in Paris, with shares crashing by more than seven per cent after the company revealed a radical restructuring plan to save two billion euros ($2.2 billion) over three years.

      The French carmaker plans to axe almost 15,000 jobs, including 4,600 at core operations in France as it seeks to steer out of a cash crunch exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis.

      At the other extreme, Williams-Sonoma surged 14.0 per cent as it reported a surprise profit despite having all its stores shuttered for more than half the quarter, fueled by surging sales of cooking equipment while much of the US was stuck at home under quarantine orders.

      But Williams-Sonoma withdrew its full-year profit forecast, saying that while current trends in its businesses are still strong, there was still uncertainty about the lasting macro-economic drag from coronavirus shutdowns.


8 users have voted.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
6 + 14 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.