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Stocks Drop, Bonds Jump as Trump Dents Trade Hopes: Markets Wrap

Rita Nazareth and Vildana Hajric
Stocks Drop, Bonds Jump as Trump Dents Trade Hopes: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Stocks dropped around the world and bonds rallied after President Donald Trump aimed his tariff weapon on economies from South America to Europe and China, denting hopes for a global recovery.

The S&P 500 Index fell for a third day, though it pared some of its losses in afternoon trading. The morning brought a flood of trade headlines that rattled markets, with the Trump administration signaling the U.S. plans to move forward with tariffs on Chinese goods if no deal is reached before the mid-December deadline. The president had earlier indicated he’d be willing to wait another year before striking an agreement with China. He also threatened levies on France after hitting steel from Brazil and Argentina.

Treasuries surged, driving yields down the most since August, as gold, the yen and the Swiss franc paced gains among haven assets. The cost to protect North American investment-grade debt against default jumped as trade-war induced volatility shook markets. Jefferies warned currency traders to buckle up before the tariff deadline, saying “put your helmet back on.”

Read: JPMorgan Says Get Used to ‘Muddling’ Market at Risk of Flare-Ups

The flurry of trade news roiled global markets just as investors started dipping their toes into riskier waters. A rush to assets that usually outperform during times of economic growth pushed U.S. stocks to record highs last month. But renewed tariff tension and signs of profit deterioration could make traders again more cautious amid the longest bull market on record.

“The narrative on trade has quickly been turned upside down as negative headlines on tariffs have ignited a risk-averse tone in the markets,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management. “Today’s headlines are a short reminder of the downside risks that still remain across the investing landscape.”

Chinese state media said Tuesday the government would soon publish a list of “unreliable entities” that could lead to sanctions against American companies. Meantime, France said the European Union would retaliate if the U.S. follows through on a threat to hit about $2.4 billion of French products with levies.

Read: Hedge Funds’ Distaste for Cyclical Shares Looks Smart This Week

In afternoon trading, U.S. equities trimmed their declines amid a rally in defensive companies such as real estate and utilities. Despite Tuesday’s losses, the S&P 500 was still up 23% in 2019.

“Regardless of trade tensions, it’s natural to see a bit of a dip after the huge gains we’ve seen this year,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade Financial Corp.

Elsewhere, oil rose as traders focused on the upcoming OPEC+ meeting that could lead to deeper supply cuts by some of the biggest crude producers.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

Germany releases factory-order data for October on Thursday.Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering is scheduled to be priced on Thursday, with Riyadh looking to raise more than $25 billion.Friday brings the U.S. jobs report, where estimates are for non-farm payrolls to rise by 190,000 in November.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 dipped 0.7% to 3,093.20 as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.6%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.1%.The euro was little changed at $1.108.The Japanese yen appreciated 0.3% to 108.64 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries slid 11 basis points to 1.71%.Germany’s 10-year yield sank seven basis points to -0.35%.Britain’s 10-year yield dipped seven basis points to 0.67%.

Commodities

The Bloomberg Commodity Index advanced 0.3%.West Texas Intermediate crude climbed to $56.10 a barrel.Gold gained 1% to $1,484.40 an ounce.

--With assistance from Joanna Ossinger, Andreea Papuc, Todd White, Sam Potter, Yakob Peterseil, Sophie Caronello, Sarah Ponczek and Luke Kawa.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rita Nazareth in New York at rnazareth@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Rita Nazareth

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