Nation & World

Dollar, bonds plunge: Trump turns up rhetoric

U.S. 100 dollar banknotes REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Illustration
U.S. 100 dollar banknotes REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Illustration

The dollar weakened the most since March, Treasurys tumbled and stocks closed mostly lower Friday after President Donald Trump’s latest verbal salvos fanned investor concern that a global trade war is escalating.

Financial markets were upended after Trump said he’s “ready to go” with additional import tariffs and that China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates.

Yields on Treasurys climbed the most since May as Trump reiterated that he’s unhappy with the Federal Reserve tightening after the administration has worked so hard to grow the economy.

“We’re in a world of firsts and tweeting about the Fed, not once, but twice, doubling down, that the president is trying to exert pressure,” said Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

Trump’s latest move in the trade war with China came as investors try to gauge the ability of the Asian nation’s economy — the world’s second-biggest — to withstand a protectionist showdown.

The yuan may be a key tool in China’s response to Trump, who continues to express dissatisfaction with America’s own monetary policy as his country’s currency strengthens.

Oil posted its third consecutive weekly loss amid concern the escalating trade rows will undercut energy demand, undermining reassurances from Saudi Arabia that it won’t flood global crude markets.

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