Stock prices soured on Thursday after taking a day off as concerns about a trade deal with China continued and the arrest of a prominent Chinese business official was announced earlier this week.
Following a day off to respect the National Day of Mourning for former President George H.W. Bush, Wall Street opened on Thursday to more dismal numbers. As of 10 a.m. Eastern Time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had sunk by nearly 700 points. The bad numbers followed Tuesday’s similar losses, making the total drop for the week more than 1,400 points for Dow Jones.
The losses on Thursday and from earlier this week completely erased all of the gains that were made during the year for both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500, NBC News reported.
The drop, experts say, is due primarily to confusion over supposed trade negotiations and agreements made by U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump lavished praise over the deal over the weekend, which came about during the G20 summit, stating that they had been “amazing and productive,” and touting specific numbers on tariffs being dropped completely to zero in specific industries, according to previous reporting earlier in the week from the Inquisitr.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 6, 2018
But those sentiments from Trump were not reiterated by China, causing some to worry whether the president had been exaggerating the progress he claimed he had made with Beijing.
Furthermore, those concerns were compounded by the fact that members of his own administration couldn’t confirm that any such agreements existed.
“We don’t yet have a specific agreement on that, but I will just tell you, as an involved participant, we expect those tariffs to go to zero,” Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow said when asked about the drop in tariffs that the president cited.
Despite the ambiguity of the trade talks, Kudlow suggested that the negotiations between the two nations were “pretty far advanced,” according to reporting from the Washington Examiner.
Additional concerns worried investors on Wall Street Thursday. Reports that Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei and the CFO of the company, had been arrested in Canada, fueled speculation that the trade war between the U.S. and China would continue.
The U.S. is reportedly seeking extradition of Meng because Huawei violated sanctions rules barring American technology from being sold to Iran. Meng’s arrest was made on the same day Trump and Xi had met at the G20.