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Tinder jumped. Match jumped. Then IAC jumped.

Posted by Digestible Financial News on Thursday, August 8, 2019
  

Feels like that

  
  
Dow Jones
25,718 (-2.90%)
S&P 500
2,845 (-2.98%)
Nasdaq
7,726 (-3.47%)
Bitcoin
$11,790 (7.03%)
10-Yr US Treasury
1.718% 

Hey Snackers,

We'll cut right to it. That was rough.

Stocks suffered their worst day of the year as the US/China trade war just erupted on a whole new front: the currency battlefield. More below.

Battles

Stocks plummeted because of China's dramatic currency move

Not quiet on the Eastern front... Governments worldwide let the free market determine how much a dollar, peso, real, or pound is worth through supply and demand. Europe buying some fancy American corn? They'll have to sell euros and buy dollars first. That's why those airport currency exchange boards are constantly changing. But China's government does the opposite — it dictates how much yuan each $ is worth. Then this happened Monday:

  • What China did: The government is weakening its currency so that your $1 now buys a whopping 7 yuan — the weakest level the currency has hit in over a decade.
  • What the US did: It called out China — the Treasury Department labeled China a "currency manipulator," a naughty list the country hasn't been on since 1994.

Currency manipulation = Tariff kryptonite... China just opened up a whole new front in the trade war because this move neutralizes US tariffs. It's an intense escalation, but it's classic trade war tit-for-tat-for-tit-for-tat. Here's why it went down:

  • Last week, the trade deal talks in Shanghai didn't end well.
  • The US pledged a 10% tariff on the remaining $300B in Chinese goods not yet tariffed (mainly consumer goods you use, like toys and tech stuff).
  • Since tariffs are like taxes, that would make the Chinese-produced iPhone X 10% more expensive to Americans.
  • So by weakening the value of its currency compared to the US dollar, China offsets part of the tariff's impact.
THE TAKEAWAY 

Nobody really wins in a trade war... At first, US tariffs hurt China by making it more expensive to manufacture across the Great Wall, encouraging US companies (like Apple) to make stuff elsewhere. Now, China's currency manipulation hurts American companies because their Chinese competition is suddenly cheaper for customers to buy. Trade wars are races to the bottom (welcome to the new front).




 
 
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