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Stock Selloff Continues Amid Worries Over U.S.-China Tensions

A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 799 points. Stock markets continued to fall on Thursday.
A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 799 points. Stock markets continued to fall on Thursday.
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

U.S. stock markets plunged again Thursday after a Chinese technology executive was arrested in Canada, escalating U.S.-China tensions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 450 points, or about 1.8 percent, in early trading.

The blue chip index fell 799 points on Tuesday. U.S. markets were closed on Wednesday in honor of President George H.W. Bush's funeral.

Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei. A Canadian official said law enforcement took her into custody at the request of the U.S., which is seeking her extradition for allegedly violating its sanctions on Iran.

The arrest comes at a delicate time, as Washington and Beijing are set to negotiate a deal that could diffuse longstanding grievances over trade between the two countries.

Asian stocks tumbled overnight on the news of the arrest. The company, which sells smartphones, has long been identified by the U.S. as a threat to national security. The Pentagon has alleged the Chinese government could use the phones to spy.

NPR's Emily Sullivan contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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