Asian shares on slippery slope as trade tensions take toll


China has either imposed or proposed tariffs on $110 billion of US goods, representing most of its American imports, though crude oil and large aircraft are still not targeted for penalties.

In a tweet sent on September 8, the U.S. president wrote: "Apple prices may increase because of the massive tariffs we may be imposing on China - but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive".

On Sunday, President Trump welcomed the news as a positive sign.

The tariffs, ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent, would apply to 5,207 products, and USA actions will determine whether China adopts the additional duties, Beijing said at the time.

On Friday, Wall Street stocks ended lower while world share indexes registered their biggest weekly declines in nearly six months after Trump threatened tariffs on a further $267 billion worth of Chinese imports, on top of earlier promises to levy duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. "We hope, instead, that you will reconsider these measures and work to find other, more effective solutions that leave the USA economy and USA consumer stronger and healthier than ever before".

President Donald Trump's proposed $200 billion tariff on Chinese-made goods won't make your next iPhone more expensive, but it might hit the Apple Watch, Pencil, and Air Pods, according to Apple.

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The trade war has hurt US agriculture, prompting the administration to offer compensation to affected farmers, and promises to pinch a variety of American businesses - including companies that are based in the USA but do some production in China, such as Ford was planning to do.

'It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the US given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment, ' Ford said.

"Without the tariffs, the business case was pretty solid for that model in the USA market", Kim said.

Apple is not the first company Trump has targeted on Twitter for foreign manufacturing.

On currency markets the strong U.S. jobs report added to expectations the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates at least two more times this year, putting further upward pressure on the dollar. The United States on July 6 began imposing a 25 percent tax on $34 billion in Chinese imports, including motor vehicles.

Trump previously has claimed that Apple is building new plants in the United States, but the iPhone maker has not announced any such plans. Trump pledged on Friday that he is prepared to slap $267 billion in tariffs on Chinese products, in addition to the $200 billion he has already promised.

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Well, Cook may have come out ahead on taxes, but it looks like Trump is preparing to dig a knife deep into his back on tariffs.

This is bad news for Apple since almost all its iPhones are assembled in China.

Also weighing on global shares was the prospect of faster rate rises by the Federal Reserve after data on Friday showed growth accelerated in August and wages notched their largest annual increase in more than nine years.

While Apple has doubled down on its software and services businesses in order to decrease reliance on hardware sales and hedge against a decelerating smartphone market, wherein replacement cycles have elongated and competition has increased from lower-cost rivals, iPhones still account for roughly 60% of Apple's top line.

Donald Trump just schooled Apple in lose-lose trade strategy. While Ford might choose not to build the Focus in China, it does have a multiple number of plants in other countries it can choose to build the small hatchback in.

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