The Dow Jones nosedived by 430 points to trade at 24,515.87 soon after opening, according to data from Bloomberg. It has since fallen another 120 points. It marks the latest in a string of losses for the US stock index after a turbulent week saw the Dow close 79.40 points lower on Thursday after plunging nearly 800 points earlier in the day. As of 16:40 GMT, the Dow Jones is down 385 points. Shares in major technology companies are the main mover behind the loss this afternoon, with Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all trading lower.
Facebook shares were down 0.20 percent, while Amazon shares tumbled by 1.51 percent at the time of writing.
Netflix was down by 3.77 percent and Alphabet shares had dropped by 1.90 percent.
Apple shares were also hit today by a 2.23 percent loss.
The S&P 500 was down 0.78 percent, while Nasdaq Composite lost 1.44 percent.
Analysts are blaming recent market losses on rising fears of a trade war between Washington and Beijing, fuelled by the detention of a Chinese executive in Canada.
Meng Wanzhou, chief global finance officer of Chinese telecoms company Huawei, was arrested by Canadian authorities on December 1 over alleged violations of US sanctions, reports say.
She is set to appear in a Vancouver court later today for a bail hearing as she awaits possible extradition to the United States.
Her arrest came just days after the US and China agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war.
Adrian Lowcock, Head of Personal Investing at Willis Owen, said: “Optimism over a ceasefire in the US-Chinese trade war has proven very short-lived with the arrest of Huawei’s CFO in Canada, putting a reconciliation in greater doubt.
“Investor sentiment has swung downwards with concerns that a revived trade war could impact global growth, which has already begun to slow.”
The volatile week for the US stock market comes ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting later this month, with investors fearing a further rates hike.
However, a Wall Street Journal article claimed the Fed remains uncertain of which way rates will move after December.
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