Third straight rout end worst week for Dow, Nasdaq since the financial crisis a decade as a host of concerns ranging ranging from political bickering to interest rate hike dampen investors' mood.

US stocks hit their lowest point in a decade this week as Donald Trump confronted domestic and international policy issues.
US stocks hit their lowest point in a decade this week as Donald Trump confronted domestic and international policy issues. (AP Archive)

Wall Street ended its worst week in a decade with more bruising losses on Friday, and with the tech-rich Nasdaq entering a bear market amid worries about trade wars and a possible US government shutdown.

The Nasdaq and Dow suffered their worst weeks since the start of the global financial crisis with the US-China trade dispute returning to the forefront, and amid continued concerns about the Federal Reserve's plans for interest rate increases.

"It has been a remarkably terrible trading week for financial markets amid concerns over rising US interest rates, decelerating global growth, Brexit uncertainty and chaos in Washington," said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the week with a loss of nearly seven percent, after losing 1.8 percent or more than 400 points on Friday, to close at 22,445.37.

The Wall Street decline came as Washington teetered towards a likely government shutdown as US President Donald Trump dug in on threats to close if congressional Democrats continue to refuse his demand for funds to build a wall on the border of Mexico.

Thousands of US government employees could be furloughed without a paycheck right before the end-of-year holidays if Trump and congressional Democrats fail to strike a deal by midnight.

Hardline voices

With that deadline looming, investors received another jolt in the final hour of trading when White House advisor Peter Navarro delivered hardline comments on the ongoing trade talks with China.

"China is basically trying to steal the future of Japan, the US and Europe, by going after our technology," Navarro, a longtime China hawk, told the Japan's Nikkei news agency.

And he said China must address all US concerns about its trade policies, saying there are "no half-measures."

Investors also have been anxious over the surprise resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who laid out significant policy disagreements with the US president in his letter to Trump which he made public.

"We are in a fragile environment," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services.

"The extremist position is winning in the Trump administration, not just on trade but on everything."

Investors have been unnerved by the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates this week, and projecting it would continue to raise next year.

Source: AFP