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CLOSING BELL: U.S. tariffs on China wreak havoc on markets

There was upheaval on the markets today as U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese imports.

In Toronto fears of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies, losses in the energy sector thanks to lower oil prices, and losses by financial stocks all helped drop the TSX 275 points to a close of 15,399.

In New York the bleeding was even more pronounced. Trump’s tariffs are meant to punish China for stealing U.S.-owned intellectual property, especially technology, and to close America’s trade deficit with China.  That deficit stands at more than $648 billion.

Trump says the deficit is a big reason for the losses of manufacturing jobs on American soil. The Dow Jones closed the day at 23,957 losing 724 points.

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Meanwhile there could be some hope for the bankrupt Toys “R” Us.

A group of investors have put together a crowdfunding campaign to save more than half of the stores in the U.S.  They’ve committed $200 million and are looking to add four times that. The campaign doesn’t, however, include Canadian stores.

In afterhours trading at press time oil is down 95 cents to $64.22 U.S. per barrel, gold is up $6.60 to $1328.10 an ounce, and the loonie is down a tenth of a cent to 77.37 cents U.S.

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