Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai. Barclays described China’s economy as one that was losing steam.
  © Reuters

NEW YORK — Several major U.S. banks have been hit by the harsh reality of tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, making expansion in China — once thought of as a “holy grail” of opportunity — increasingly fraught with risk.

Banks have begun to consider reducing staff in the region as Washington and Beijing remain entrenched in a trade war that has spanned two U.S. administrations, leading to an uptick in regulation and sanctions from both sides.

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