Wall Street and FTSE 100 sink as Trump intensifies trade war fears – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as US proposes steep new tariffs on French cheese, wine, handbags and porcelain

4.42pm GMT

Ouch! Britain’s FTSE 100 has closed at its lowest level since mid-October.

Renewed trade war anxiety sent the index down to 7,158, a loss of 127 points. That’s a 1.75% slide, to a six-week low.

3.44pm GMT

Today’s burst of trade war drama has been a wake-up call for investors who had hoped that the dispute was being ended peacefully.

Michael Hewson of CMC Markets explains:

It’s been another choppy day for markets in Europe after an initially positive start. Once again it’s been an intervention by President Trump that’s upset the applecart, when in an impromptu question and answer session with journalists he held open the prospect that there would be no US, China trade deal, until after the US elections next year.

This insouciance about the prospect of putting off any deal has completely upended market expectations that we were potentially millimetres away from a deal, and also flies in the face of the optimism that has seen markets rally strongly over the last few weeks.

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