Global equities mostly retreated yesterday after US President Donald Trump warned there was no deadline for doing a trade deal with China.

The announcement added to trade uncertainty already stoked by the US reimposing tariffs on Argentina and Brazil, threatening France with steep levies − and warning China of possible new measures if ongoing talks fall through.

Trump, in Britain for a Nato summit, warned that efforts to resolve a trade dispute could wait until after next November’s US election.

 Officials warned they would also hit France with up to 100 per cent levies on $2.4 billion in goods, saying a French digital tax was discriminatory against US tech firms such as Google, Apple and Amazon.

Sparkling wine, yoghurt and Roquefort cheese could be affected as soon as next month, while US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned his office was also considering similar moves against Austria, Italy, and Turkey.

Yesterday, France vowed a “strong” response to any tariffs.

Among industrial sectors, London-listed mining companies retreated on worries over demand from Asian powerhouse China, which is a top consumer of many commodities.