Beijing allowed the yuan to tumble to its weakest level in a decade against the US dollar and asked state-owned companies to suspend imports of US agricultural products, Bloomberg reported, following US president Donald Trump's surprise threat late last week of further tariffs.
Trump's move saw commodity prices slump on the London Metal Exchange, with economic bellwether copper closing down 2.9%.
Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) had closed down 3.7% in New York and Glencore (LSE: GLEN) was about 4.8% lower in London.
Safe haven asset gold has surged through the US$1,450 an ounce mark today, to $1,452.67 on the spot market, its highest point since May 2013.
Australia's gold sector, which is basking in the dual spotlights of both a strong local gold price and industry attention at the annual Diggers & Dealers mining forum which began in Kalgoorlie today, was up 0.8% collectively in afternoon trade.
Resolute Mining (ASX: RSG) hit a near three-year high of A$1.99 intraday and is up 71% year-to-date as it announced it had gained control of Toro Gold, which has the Mako gold mine in Senegal.