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CNN reported that on Monday China raised import duties on $3 billion of USA imports in response to Trump's steel tariffs.

Stocks closed sharply lower on Wall Street as technology companies took heavy losses and investors anxious about escalating trade tensions with China. At its session lows, the Dow fell 510 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq plunged as much as 1.6 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. The Nasdaq composite slumped 2.7 percent to 6,870.12. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 36.90 points, or 2.4 percent, to 1,492.53.

Amazon and Tesla were among the top drags on Monday, pushing the S&P 500 below its 200-day moving average for the first time since Britain's vote to leave the European Union in June 2016.

At one point, the Dow was down as much as 758 points on Monday as investors fretted about rising trade tensions, especially with China.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.1 percent to 21,271.03 and South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.4 percent to 2,432.83. Facebook FB.O was down 1.96 percent, while Netflix NFLX.O and Google-parent Alphabet GOOGL.O were down between 3 percent and 4 percent.

USA drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to March 29, bringing the total down to 797, the first decline in three weeks.

China bumped tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 USA products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, in response to US duties on imports of aluminum and steel.

"The level of uncertainty has definitely surged", said Adam Sarhan, Chief Executive of 50 Park Investments in NY.

Air raid kills 16 near Yemen port of Hodeida
The funding appeal came a day after several children were among those killed in a strike on the rebel-held port of Hodeida. Al-Malki suggested Iran had a hand in Tuesday's attack, repeating Saudi allegations that Tehran is arming the Houthis.

"Today it's the tech and tariff trade that has the market rattled", said Nick Raich, CEO of The Earnings Scout.

Elsewhere, the cost of a barrel of oil was up slightly by less than a percentage point at US$63.46.

The first trading day of the second quarter began with a broad sell-off concentrated in the technology and consumer discretionary sectors, as losses by Amazon.com, Tesla and Microsoft, among others, took centre stage from retaliatory trade measures China unveiled on Sunday.

After spiking last year, the stock market hit extreme turbulence during the first three months of the year as investors anxious about tariffs, inflation and tech stocks. Futures pointed to losses of more than 2% for the Nasdaq and Dow. Trump repeatedly criticized the company of late over issues including taxes and Amazon's shipping deals with the U.S. Postal Service. Fears of a trade war are also weighing heavy on the stock market.

The Dow was down 1.02 per cent at 23,787.67. About 45 percent of investors polled by the firm in late March said they were bullish or very bullish on USA stocks, even as about the same number of investors said they became less optimistic in the past three months.

US Treasury yields fell to two-month lows as investors fled sliding stocks for safety ahead of Friday's closely watched jobs report.

Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 16 cents to $67.80 in London. CBS rose 2.5 percent.