Asian stock markets tumbled on Monday after a sharp escalation in the US-China trade war rattled investors.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump announced tariff hikes on effectively all Chinese imports to the US.
It came after Beijing said it would impose fresh duties and raise tariffs on US imports into China.
In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slid 3.2% while the Shanghai Composite gave up 1.3%.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.3%. The Chinese yuan weakened to a fresh 11-year low against the US dollar. The onshore yuan was around 7.15 per dollar in morning Asian trade.
Sharp falls in the yuan earlier this month prompted the US to officially name China a “currency manipulator” , adding to tensions between the two countries.
“The trade war between the US and China has escalated dramatically,” Louis Kuijs, head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics said.
“This tit-for-tat escalation shows how unlikely a trade deal and de-escalation have become.”
How has the trade war escalated?
On Friday, the US said it would begin the process of raising tariffs on around $250bn (£203.8bn) of Chinese imports from 25% to 30%. Those hikes will be introduced from 1 October.
The US also said fresh tariffs on an additional $300bn of Chinese goods, announced earlier this month, will now be at a rate of 15% instead of 10%. The first batch of those tariffs will be introduced in September.
In a tweet, Mr Trump said he planned to order US firms working in China to move their operations back to the US. It is unclear how he could force firms to comply.
The moves came after China delivered its latest trade war strike, announcing plans to hit $75bn worth of US goods with new tariffs and hikes to existing duties.
How did we get here?
The world’s two largest economies have been locked in a bruising trade battle for the past year that has seen tariffs imposed on billions of dollars worth of one another’s goods.
Mr Trump has long accused China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft. In China, there is a perception that the US is trying to curb its rise.
The boss of collapsed Thomas Cook has said he is “deeply sorry” over the historic travel firm’s liquidation.
Business secretary Andrea Leadsom has asked the official receiver, which oversees liquidations, to look at whether bosses’ actions “caused detriment to creditors or to the pension schemes”.
Top directors at the holiday company have been paid a combined £20m in salaries and bonuses since 2014.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also questioned whether directors should pay themselves “large sums of money” as their businesses go “down the tubes”.
Meanwhile, Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said that the public was “appalled that as Thomas Cook mounted up debt and as the company headed for trouble, company bosses were happily pocketing hefty pay-packages”.
She also said there were questions to be asked about Thomas Cook’s “accounting practices”, with suggestions that they improved the chances of executives being paid large bonuses.
But Mr Fankhauser said: “That is just rubbish. I shouldn’t say that. But it is just not right.”
He defended his pay saying it was not “outrageous” compared with other bosses in the FTSE 250 index, which Thomas Cook exited last December. He also said pay-packages had been set by the firm’s remuneration committee and approved by shareholders.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Fankhauser, a Swiss national, appeared to blame a group of banks for not supporting a bail-out plan for Thomas Cook.
He said if bondholders and a syndicate of 17 banks – including Barclays, Morgan Stanley, DNB, UniCredit, Credit Suisse, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland – had acted faster, then Thomas Cook would still be trading.
“The longer the talks dragged on, the more uncertainty grew, increasing the likelihood of a liquidity squeeze,” Mr Fankhauser told the newspaper.
“Had we been quicker, we might not be in the situation we are now.”
Thomas Cook had secured a £900m rescue deal led by its largest shareholder Chinese firm Fosun in August, but a recent demand from its banks to raise a further £200m in contingency funding put the deal in doubt.
Mr Fankhauser accused the banks and bondholders of “trading for every point” during what were to be ultimately-unsuccessful funding talks.
He also told the paper: “I think it would be very difficult for me to find another job in the UK.”