Stocks around the globe plummeted as markets reeled from the latest actions of the U.S. government, as well as weak U.S. and China data for April. The U.S. blacklisted China’s Huawei, and China responded by saying it will do everything to protect its companies.
As such, European stocks fell, with an index of its shares dropping as much as 0.5%. The German stock index slipped 0.4%, while in the U.S., stock futures declined 0.4%.
In Asia, the MSCI’s index fell 0.2%, on the edge of a slip that would take it towards its lowest levels since January.
Japan’s Nikkei was down on Thursday morning as sentiment soured with recent data that showed U.S. and Chinese trades sales had weakened, slowing economic growth in April. Banks, on the other hand, slumped following weak earnings reports.
The Nikkei 225 share average slid 166.13 points or 1.09% on Thursday morning to 21028.04.
South Korean shares also went down, with Seoul’s KOSPI benchmark shedding 21.21 points or 1.08% to 2070.04. The Korean won also dipped as was the benchmark bond yield.
Yields for the 3-year Korean Treasury bond also fell, dropping by about 1.4 basis points to 1.689%. Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year yield lost 3.0 basis points to 1.840%
In China, blue chips lost about 0.2%.
The downturn came a day after Asian shares appeared to steady after it emerged that U.S. President Donald Trump could elect to delay tariffs imposed on auto imports.
Analysts have pointed out that this would have provided the market with much-needed relief after a turbulent week punctuated by trade tensions as well as data pointing to a slowdown in both U.S. and Chinese economies in April.
In Japan, shares of major banks fell as sellers flocked the market. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) dropped 3.4% to trade at 495.5 yen, its lowest level in almost three years. The bank’s posted a net profit decline of 11.8% year-on-year. Mizuho Financial Group also saw its shares decline, shedding 1.9% to 161.2 yen. The company’s net profit took a dramatic tumble in 2018, losing nearly 83% to sit at 96.6 billion yen.