European shares fell today as a sell-off was triggered by mounting worries that US tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China could escalate.

Germany's Dax was down 2.26%, the French CAC 40 1.8% lower and Britain's FTSE 100 0.6% in the red.

The Dublin Stock Exchange managed to pare spme earlier losses to stand 0.3% lower this afternoon. 

The rumblings of a global trade war had earlier shaken Asian stock markets after US President Donald Trump announced long-promised tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing pledged to fight any such war to the end. 

Trump signed a presidential memorandum yesterday that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China.

Investors fear that the US measures could escalate into a trade war, with potentially dire consequences for the global economy. 

Beijing urged the US today to "pull back from the brink". 
           
Japan's Nikkei dropped 4.5%, while Australian stocks lost 1.9%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 2.4%, Taiwan shares slid 1.6% and the South Korean market retreated almost 3%.

Setting a downbeat tone for Asia, the Dow last night fell 2.9%, the S&P 500 dropped 2.5% and the Nasdaq fell 2.4%.

Nike and energy companies led modest gains in US stocks at the open but the the main indexes then dropped into the red. The Dow Jones was 0.23% lower, the S&P 500 fell 0.5% and the Nasdaq was down 0.8%.