More US-China tariffs kick in as economic concerns grow

Denise Jackson

Yet more tariffs on goods bought and sold between the US and China have now kicked in – leading to question marks over how this may affect the global economy.

The Chinese items which now have import fees placed on them as they enter the US are diverse, but they include everything from shoes to technology such as TVs, “smart” watches and more.

In the other direction, China added tariffs to the price of crude oil imported from the US.

However, the full force of the decisions might not be felt until later in the week.

The US markets are closed today due to the Labor Day holiday, suggesting that the impact of the tariff decisions might not be seen until later.

So far, the US dollar appears to have been performing well.

In its pair with the single European currency, for example, the dollar was ahead by 0.1%.

However, President Donald Trump said that trade talks would go ahead later in September – suggesting that there may at least be some sign that the tariff war can be reversed.

The euro in particular had a bad few days, and it went under the $1.10 level for the first time since 2017 late last week.

This happened in a context of long-term decline, too.

Over the course of 2019, the currency has gone down by over 4%.

The US dollar index, an artificial tool designed to monitor the performance of the currency in comparison to more than five other currencies including the euro, barely moved.

It was recorded at 98.87 at one stage.

The markets are now bracing themselves for what is expected to be quite significant monetary policy action over the course of September.

One of the big decisions the markets will have to grapple with is the European Central Bank’s monetary policy move.

The US Federal Reserve will also be meeting and is widely expected to enhance the interest rate cuts that it has already made this year with a further cut in September.

In the shorter term, the forex markets will be keeping a close eye on the United Kingdom this week where political instability threatens to damage the pound.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to try to resist calls for legislation which would block the chance of a no-deal Brexit.

However, there is also a possibility that this will lead to a general election – meaning that there is plenty to keep an eye on.

Over in Japan, the yen went up by a fifth of a percentage point against the Australian dollar and was recorded at 71.42 in that pair at one stage.

It was also up against the US dollar, rising by 0.1% and reaching 106.15 as trading got underway in the morning on Monday.

The Japanese yen is known for its reputation as a safe haven currency – and with risk on the agenda both in terms of China-US tariffs and in global politics, it is likely that its rise was fuelled in part by Monday’s uncertainty.

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Denise Jackson
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