Threatening Europe, China and Japan aluminum (10%) and steel industries (25%) after implementing heavy tariffs, Donald Trump is now focusing on one of Europe’s flagship industry following infructuous discussions of both European and US negotiators in Brussels, aiming at exempting European industries from potential US taxes. Hammering his intentions to “tax Mercedes-Benz, BMW and other German automotive companies if no effort is made to remove tariff barriers for US products, American First President is putting into question the legitimacy of his measures due to decent country diversifications of these multinationals, pushing his unilateral decisions in opposition to WTO fundamentals. On Asian side, China clearly confirmed its willingness to continue discussions with US negotiators while defending its interests at all cost.
Impact of US tariffs on the market remained subdued, as investors start to minimize Trump’s market threatening due to inconsistencies provided from its plan changes. Asian markets were rallying in the green boosted by strong US February NFP data given at 313’000 (consensus: 205’000). Hong Kong Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite were both expanding by +1.86% and +0.59% while Japanese Nikkei 225 gained 1.65%.
By Vincent Mivelaz