Asian stocks ease, dollar near two-week lows on Trump comments

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"We're down a tremendous amount", Trump said in an interview about trade imbalances with China on CNBC television broadcast on Friday.

The U.S. government put tariffs on imported steel, aluminum, washing machines and solar panels this year and is considering taxing auto imports.

He and Utah Republican Gov. Gary Herbert extolled long-term strategies for state economies to increase foreign trade, from foreign language schools to Utah's expansion of airport cargo-flight capacity.

"But I don't like all of this work that goes into doing what we're doing", Trump said, arguing that the Fed's hikes could disrupt economic growth.

"In such a conflict situation, no one can buy auto stocks, or even hold them", said Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst at Evercore ISI.

The trio think increasing tariffs on United States imports so they raise an equal amount of revenue as those placed on Chinese imports is unlikely, acknowledging this would mean "reordering of supply chains which would impose additional costs on the Chinese economy" and "negatively affect China's image as an economy that is opening up and reforming".

China accused the USA of starting the "largest trade war in economic history".

The dispute between the world's two largest economies stems from accusations that China steals technology from US companies or forces them to hand over technology to Chinese companies as well as differences over the USA trade deficit with China.

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"More expensive soy can mean that China will look to other sources for the bulk of its imports", the cartoon continues, adding, "As two of the top soybean suppliers to China, Brazil and Argentina could pick up the slack".

"What makes them nervous is once you lose these markets, they're going to be hard to get back", he said.

The pound has had a bruising week, closing near its lows against the euro, but it has managed to recover some of its losses against the U.S. dollar, as attention now shifts to what the Bank of England might do when it meets in just under two weeks at its next rate meeting.

The People's Bank of China dropped the dollar's reference rate to 6.7671 yuan - the most radical weakening of the currency in two years. The euro rose for a second day, gaining to $1.1655 from $1.644. Italian 10-year yields increased eight basis points to 2.59 percent.

With trade tensions rising, so is the pushback from American business that fear potentially devastating consequences, not only from China but also from Europe, Canada and other countries in Asia. That encourages investors to move money out of China in search of higher US returns.

In late NY trading, the euro was up to $1.1725 from $1.1644 in the previous session, and the British pound increased to $1.3135 from $1.3015 in the previous session.

The yield on Europe's benchmark bond, the German 10-year Bund, hit a one-month high of 0.39 percent while USA 10-year Treasury yields also hit their highest in a month at 2.90 percent. It was last up 0.2 percent at $1.135. Copper jumped 2.2 percent to $2.76 a pound.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX lost 1 percent and France's CAC 40 slid 0.3 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.8 percent.

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