Trade and interest concerns weigh Wall Street

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The stock exchanges in New York were closed lower on Friday. The growing trade tensions between the United States and China continued to determine sentiment on Wall Street.

Investors further assessed the major US government job report, which went worse than expected and comments from Fed President Jerome Powell on that. They awoke with the fear of interest rate increases.

The Dow-Jones index closed 2.3 percent lower at 23,932.76 points. The broad S & P 500 lost 2.2 percent to 2604.47 points, and technology exchange Nasdaq dropped 2.3 percent and ended at 6915.11 points.

President Donald Trump threatened to impose charges on another $100 billion of Chinese import products. In this way he reacts to the, in his eyes, “dishonest retribution” of China on earlier American taxes. Companies that may be affected by a trade conflict were under pressure. This applied to, among others, aircraft manufacturer Boeing, car manufacturer General Motors (GM) and machine builders Caterpillar and Deere. They lost up to 4 percent.

In addition to the Chinese, Amazon (down 3.2 percent) was also once again under fire by Trump. He said that the web store is being seriously scrutinized because of unfair competition. A message that Amazon wants to make payments between people through its virtual assistant Alexa, in turn caused price falls at payment companies PayPal and Square. The two rose by 4.5 percent.

Paintmaker Axalta added 2.5 percent. According to sources, it could well be that the company is making a new attempt to come to a merger with AkzoNobel. PPG Industries (down 2.1 percent) would in turn possibly be back in the market for a takeover of the Dutch paint giant.

Supermarket chain Supervalu is considering putting itself for sale and was raised 9.3 percent by investors. The company is being attacked by activist investor Blackwells Capital.

The job report showed that employment in the US in March increased less than was generally expected. Furthermore, wages in the US rose more sharply. The higher wages can boost inflation, which can lead to a faster interest rate hike.

 

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