(Aug 12): Stock markets around the world tumbled last week and volatility spiked sharply higher (see Chart 1). The main instigator behind this latest bout of volatility is — yes, you guessed it — US President Donald Trump.

Trump took markets by surprise, tweeting a 10% hike on the remaining US$300 billion ($415 billion) worth of Chinese imports that are still currently free from taxes, effective Sept 1. This comes right after a high-level trade meeting ended in Shanghai. Talks were supposed to continue in the US in September, but Trump was upset that China did not sign off on a concrete deal to buy US farm products.

Have a premium account? Sign in to continue reading.

Unlimited access to all stories from $4.99/month*

The latest reporting and analysis from business and investments to news and views on social issues.


  • Simultaneous logins across all devices
  • Instant access to past digital issues
  • Unlimited access to The Edge Malaysia
  • *For annual subscription plan only. T&Cs apply