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Asian markets mostly down, trade war fears back in headlines

Asian markets mostly fell Tuesday with Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks sinking following a report that the White House is preparing to impose tariffs on all its Chinese imports, throwing the trade war back into the spotlight.

The story added to skittishness across trading floors, where investors are already fretting over a number of issues including geopolitical tensions, rising US interest rates, slowing growth, Brexit and Italy´s budget standoff with the EU.

Wall Street provided another negative lead, with the S&P 500 and Dow now suffering similar selling pressure to other global markets, having held up for most of the year and even chalking up several record highs as early as this month. The New York losses also came despite more positive economic data.

In early Asian trade Hong Kong shed 0.9 per cent and Shanghai was 0.7 per cent off after Bloomberg News reported Donald Trump is planning more tariffs on China if talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month are unsuccessful.

It cited unnamed sources as saying a list is being drawn up for a December announcement to hit another $267 billion of goods with levies.

With $250 billion already being targeted, the move would mean all China´s shipments to the United States are taxed. Beijing has said in the past that it will retaliate against any measures, putting the world´s top two economies on course for an all-out trade war.

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