US stocks close lower amid trade concerns

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New York, April 3 (IANS) US stocks ended lower on Monday, the first trading day in April, as worries about trade issues and a sharp decline in the technology sector weighed on the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 458.92 points, or 1.90 per cent, to 23,644.19. The S&P 500 decreased 58.99 points, or 2.23 per cent, to 2,581.88, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 193.33 points, or 2.74 per cent, to 6,870.12.

China suspended tariff concessions on 128 items of US products including pork and fruits starting Monday, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to impose a tariff of 15 per cent on 120 items of products imported from the US including fruits and related products, and a tariff of 25 per cent on eight items of imports including pork and related products from the country, according to a statement posted on the ministry website.

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The statement said it was a countermeasure in response to a previous US move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Despite worldwide objections, the US administration decided to impose a 25-per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10-per cent tariff on aluminium, with tariffs on imports from countries including China.

A sharp decline in tech sector, leading by Amazon, also rattled nervous investors.

Shares of Amazon slumped nearly 6 per cent in the late trading on Monday after US President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that Amazon was scamming the US Postal Service, adding the service loses “billions of dollars” delivering packages for the e-commerce giant.

On the economic front, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) decreased 1.5 percentage points from the February reading of 60.8 per cent to 59.3 per cent in March, missing market estimates, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported on Monday.

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–IANS

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