SINGAPORE (Apr 2): It is difficult to move past the real or perceived threat of a trade war initiated by the US. For investors, the primary concern is the collateral damage and how widespread it will be. The immediate impact will be on US companies such as Caterpillar, Boeing and Apple, and the tourism and education industries. Any Chinese tariff retaliation will strike them first.

Chinese companies that have become deeply embedded in US markets will also be affected immediately. This includes Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding, which are listed in the US, travel services companies Qunar and International, and Huawei, Haier Electronics Group and other hardware manufacturers. Investors will be hit by downgrades of the Western arms of these companies.

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