Signs of further escalation of the US-China trade war and weak UK economic data weighed on global markets on Friday, capping a volatile week that has pushed gold to its highest level in six years.
Safe havens like the Japanese yen gained after a report that Washington was delaying a decision about allowing some trade between US companies and China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd again spooked Asian markets. The prospect of snap elections in Italy brought down shares across Europe, while London’s FTSE 100 index and the pound sank after Britain reported its economy shrank in the second quarter, the first contraction in seven years.
“It has been a very volatile week,” said Elwin de Groot, Rabobank’s head of macro strategy.
“Until recently, the markets’ view was that this trade war will be resolved, but clearly now the thinking is that maybe this is not the case and it could be accelerating from here,” he said.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.53 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 90.75 points, or 0.34 percent, to 26,287.44, the S&P 500 lost 19.42 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,918.67 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 80.02 points, or 1 percent, to 7,959.14.
Stock losses accelerated after US President Donald Trump said he was “not ready” to make a deal with China and that the United States would continue to refrain from doing business with Huawei.