European stock-index futures dropped in early London trade, following heavy losses in Asia on the back of yet another escalation in a trade stand-off between the US and China.
Just after 7am UK time, futures tracking the Euro Stoxx 50 index slid 1.1 per cent. Dax futures, tracking Germany’s benchmark stock gauge, were among the worst hit, sliding 1.3 per cent. French CAC 40 futures declined 1.1 per cent and UK FTSE 100 futures fell 0.8 per cent.
US stock-index futures also faced significant selling, with S&P 500 futures off 1.2 per cent at 1:08am in Chicago.
The latest bout of selling came after US President Donald Trump late on Monday threatened to apply a fresh round of tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports. That came after America’s decision to hit $50bn in Chinese goods with tariffs and has generated threats from the Chinese government that it will retaliate.
Selling was particularly intense in China, with major indices tracking Hong Kong and mainland stocks down more than 2 per cent.
In another sign of the heightened anxiety, the yen jumped 0.87 per cent against the US dollar to ¥109.98. The Japanese currency often rallies during times of strife.