Global Markets: Trade war concerns flatten yields, roil stocks

Another separate source with direct knowledge of the thinking by the administration said that tariffs, which are associated with a Section 301 investigation of intellectual property, under the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 that started previous year during August, could come soon.

A third source said the tariffs, associated with a "Section 301" intellectual property investigation under the 1974 US Trade Act that began in August previous year, could come "in the very near future".

Trump has imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminium, arguing that protecting domestic producers is a matter of national security, a move that has raised fears of a possible trade war.

Trump is targeting Chinese high technology companies to punish China for its investment policies that effectively force U.S. companies to give up their technology secrets in exchange for being allowed to operate in the country, as well as for other IP practices Washington considers unfair.

"The market is still trying to weigh concerns about tariffs on one hand and understanding how the President acts and how he speaks openly and comes up with a different policy in the end", said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth.

China runs a $375 billion trade surplus with the United States and when President Xi Xinping's top economic adviser visited Washington recently, the administration pressed him to come up with a way of reducing that number.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said earlier this month that the USA may lose up to 150,000 jobs if trade partners including Europe and others such as Japan retaliate against Trump's tariffs.

Trump on Thursday announced steep tariffs on steel and aluminum but provisionally exempted Canada and Mexico, two of the largest United States suppliers who are now participating in talks with Washington to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. Earlier this year, Trump pulled the USA out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. U.S. Treasury yields traded just off one-week lows touched earlier in the session.

In the last few days, China has warned U.S. of retaliation.

The US House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady told reporters that Trump is serious about countering China's alleged intellectual property theft.

Senior officials familiar with the new plan, said that the administration is considering on more than 100 Chinese products ranging from electronics and telecommunications equipment to furniture and toys, Politico said adding that the new tariffs are expected to be rolled out beginning as soon as next week.

Vanessa Coleman