US and European stock markets swooned into the red Monday on downbeat US economic data and news of fresh US tariffs against Argentina and Brazil.
Asian markets had been cheered earlier in the day by a surprise jump in Chinese factory activity, but the party ended with a tweet by US President Donald Trump.
Trump said in a tweet that owing to unfair policies by Brazil and Argentina, he would reinstate tariffs on steel and aluminium from those countries.
Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries. The Federal….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019
Trade-related concern was also stoked by China’s Global Times newspaper, which said Beijing wanted all US tariffs rolled back as part of a mini deal, a move observers said Washington is unlikely to agree to.
On foreign exchange markets, the euro rose against the dollar after a survey revealed that the US manufacturing sector has contracted for a fourth straight month, which put more pressure on eurozone stocks because many companies would be hampered by the stronger single currency.