The U.S. agreed to keep the current 10% tariffs on over $200 billion worth of Chinese goods while an agreement is negotiated, but will increase to 25% if no agreement is reached prior to the 90-day deadline.
European markets followed China into the red after the IHS Markit Flash Eurozone PMI index fell to 51.7 during the month of December, which represents its lowest level in four years.
“Policy mistakes remain the biggest threats to global growth in 2019 and beyond,” said IHS Markit Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh. “Simmering trade conflicts are dangerous, not because they have done damage so far–they haven’t–but because they could easily escalate. At the same time, the sell-off in equity and commodity markets, on top of the gradual removal of stimuli by some central banks, means that financial conditions worldwide are tightening. The good news is that the probability of a single policy event seriously hurting global growth in 2019 is still relatively low.”
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