The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dived more than 3 percent in the morning session on Friday following the U.S. decision to hike tariffs on China's steel and aluminum imports.
As of 11:00 a.m. Friday, only 294 shares were rising while nearly 3,000 shares were losing on Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses.
The sub-index for the steel sector lost 3.2 percent. Xinyu Iron & Steel plunged 7.62 percent and Liuzhou Iron & Steel slumped 8.17 percent.
Despite worldwide objections, the United States decided to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, with initial exemptions for Canada and Mexico.
China announced Friday that it is considering higher tariffs for imported U.S. products worth about 3 billion U.S. dollars to balance losses caused by the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China.