Australian share market drops sharply amid US-Chinese trade tensions

The Australian share market opened sharply lower on Monday amid a new flare-up of US-Chinese trade tensions.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 108.5 points, or 1.66% at 10.15am AEST, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 107.7 points, or 1.63%.

Energy and tech shares fell 2.91% and 2.82% respectively, leading losses as every sector started in the red.

The industrial, financial, consumer discretionary, consumer staple, healthcare and telecommunications sectors were also down by more than 1% after the first 15 minutes of trading.

Mining giant BHP was down 2.12% to $34.67, Rio Tinto was down 2.62% to $82.775 and Fortescue Metals was down 3.57% to $7.30.

The big four banks – ANZ , Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac – were down between 1.55% and 2.52%.

The Chinese government announced retaliatory tariffs on $US75bn of US goods on Friday and the US president, Donald Trump, countered by saying his country would raise its existing tariffs on $US250bn worth of Chinese imports to 30% from 25% beginning on 1 October.

On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 2.37%, the S&P 500 was down 2.59% and the Nasdaq Composite was down 3%.


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