Wall Street drops more than 1 percent on Trump tariff comments

Reuters

About 8.1 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges.

U.S. Steel was up $2.26, or 5.2 per cent, to $45.77, and AK Steel jumped 45 cents, or 6.5 per cent, to $5.50.

The fall - by more than 1%, again for a third day in a row for the Dow - the first time in two years that it has fallen 1% or more three days straight - pushed the ASX futures market lower as well.

Trump doubled down on the plan Friday, saying on Twitter that "trade wars are good and easy to win" and threatening to cut off countries that take advantage of the US. It is down 3.9 percent for February but still up 1.5 percent in 2018.

But US stocks, which had joined global markets in tumbling at the market open, rebounded considerably from their session lows. "He may be able to persuade his core voter base of that but investors are far from convinced, as was evident by the market reaction to the announcement [of import tariffs on steel and aluminum]", said Craig Erlam at Oanda. Some traders took that as a signal that the Fed may raise rates more quickly than expected.

"Stock markets are a lot more skittish than they were in the past, because the skew in the monetary policy is on the tightening side", said Wouter Sturkenboom, senior investment strategist at Russell Investments.

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Overstock.com dropped 7.7 per cent after the online retailer disclosed in a regulatory filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission asked the company last month for information about a $250 million offering by its blockchain subsidiary, tZero, related to digital tokens.

April-dated crude futures fell $1.37, or 2.2%, to end at $61.64 per barrel, after domestic crude inventories rose more than expected.

Foot Locker Inc (NYSE:FL) shares were taking a shoeing after the sportswear seller reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of US$49mln, equivalent to 40 cents a share.

Energy (-2.3%) was the weakest of the S&P 11 industry groups, moving lower alongside the price of crude oil after the weekly USA crude oil inventory report showed inventories rising by 3M barrels last week; April WTI futures dropped 2.2% to $61.64/bbl.

Gold dropped $1.70, or 1 per cent, to $1,305.20 an ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 106.74 yen from 107.18 yen late Wednesday. The FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.8 per cent. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, fell 1 cent to $64.72 per barrel. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 1.6 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent.

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