The intensifying trade row with the US is putting downward pressure on China's markets. Photo: iStock

As investor confidence decreases amid escalating trade tensions between Beijing and Washington, Chinese shares have fallen to their lowest level in almost two years, with everything from big insurers to small tech firms being jettisoned.

Pessimism has pervaded the country’s financial markets, hurting the yuan and commodities such as iron ore and rubber.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 3.8% to 2907.82 on Tuesday, its lowest level since June 22, 2016.

The Shenzhen-based ChiNext board, where most of the country’s best tech companies are listed, finished down 5.8%, its most precipitous one-day drop since June 13, 2016.

China’s markets were closed on Monday for a national holiday.