Global stocks and the dollar fell on Wednesday after a strong advocate of free trade resigned from the White House, fanning fears that U.S. President Donald Trump will proceed with protectionist tariffs and risk a trade war, reports Reuters agency on Wednesday.
“Economic adviser Gary Cohn, seen as a bulwark against protectionist forces within the Trump administration, said on Tuesday he was leaving, sparking a global sell-off across a number of major asset classes. MSCI’s world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was down 0.2 percent, having seen some strength in Asian trading following news that South and North Korea would hold their first summit in more than a decade.”
Accordin to Reuters, the pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.4 percent, with Germany’s DAX, home to many export-led companies, down 0.5 percent. European car-makers, which face the risk of a hike in import tariffs to the United States, were among the worst performers, falling 1.1 percent. Equity futures pointed to the U.S. S&P 500 index opening 0.8 percent lower.
The President Trump now has a free hand to proceed to the next step in a declared protectionist trade war.
“Cohn’s departure rippled through foreign exchange markets, with the U.S. dollar falling 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent respectively against the Japanese yen and Swiss franc — both seen as safe-havens in times of uncertainty. The dollar is just off a 14-month low against the yen hit on Friday,” reports Reuters.