Wednesday, September 19, 2018 11:40:49 PM
AFP, Hong Kong :
The sell-off on Asian markets extended into Wednesday with investors fearing an escalation in the US-China trade row after Beijing said it planned to impose anti-dumping sanctions worth billions on Washington.
The news adds to a sense of pessimism across trading floors in recent weeks as the world's top two economic powers stand on the cusp of an all-out trade war that observers fear could batter the global economy.
It also comes as dealers struggle to deal with a brewing emerging-market financial crisis and overshadows hopeful noises from Canada that a revised NAFTA deal is "imminently possible". However, energy firms were broadly higher as oil prices benefited from a sharp drop in US inventories, looming sanctions on Iran and Hurricane Florence's imminent impact on the Carolinas.
China said Tuesday it would ask the World Trade Organization next week for permission to impose more than $7 billion in sanctions annually on the United States over anti-dumping practices. The WTO will discuss the issue on September 21.
The case dates back to December 2013, when China took issue with the way Washington assesses whether exports have been "dumped" at unfairly low prices onto the US market. Beijing's call comes after Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all goods coming from China, which he says is using unfair trade practices that are harming American jobs. He has also railed against his country's massive trade deficit with China, which hit a record high last month.