Chinese and other Asian stocks down after data showing China’s trade surplus with US hit record high of $31bn

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, says in his morning note:

The trade numbers from Beijing are likely to have struck a nerve with Mr Trump, and given that he thinks the US are winning the trade spat on account of the recent weakness in the Chinese stock market, he is likely to stick to his protectionist line. Beijing said they would retaliate should the US impose fresh tariffs, and traders are fearful they might weaken the yuan or target US firms operating in China.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, warned President Trump that if he continues down the route of protectionism, it could hurt the company’s profits. The tech sector has been the standout performer of the US market this year, but it has come under pressure recently on account of the update last week from Washington DC that tighter regulation would be required for the industry, and in particular social media stocks like Facebook and Twitter.

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Tensions between the world’s two biggest economies over trade have deepened further, after China revealed a record trade surplus with the US on Saturday. Customs data showed it jumped to $31.05bn in August from $28.09bn in July, while overall export growth slowed to the slowest pace since March.

The overall sense is that the United States will continue to escalate the pressure until China submits to US demands which does not seem likely any time soon. Overall, the impact of tariffs and high levels of uncertainty will both continue to weigh on markets into the end of the year.

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Read More Stock markets under pressure as US-China trade tensions deepen – business live

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