Any retaliatory tariff by India in response to the United States’ planned withdrawal of trade privileges will not be “appropriate” under WTO rules, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross warned on Tuesday.Indian officials have raised the prospect of higher import duties on more than 20 U.S. goods if President Donald Trump presses ahead with a plan announced in March to end the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for India.India is the biggest beneficiary of the GSP, which allows preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion from the South Asian nation.“Any time a government makes a decision adverse to another one, you will have to anticipate there could be consequences,” Ross said. “We don’t believe under the WTO rules that retaliation by India would be appropriate.”India’s new e-commerce rules could hurt future investments by the U.S in the South Asian country, Ross said, even as he said he was hopeful that U.S firms would win defense deals from India in future.He said the decision on GSP could be reversed in future if India deals with the issues raised by the U.S.
China said on Tuesday Vice Premier Liu He would travel to Washington this week, setting up a last-ditch bid for a deal that would avoid a steep increase in tariffs ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump.
China’s exports unexpectedly shrank in April but imports surprised with their first increase in five months, painting a mixed picture of the economy as Beijing and Washington make a last-ditch bid for a trade deal before a hike in U.S. tariffs.Exports fell 2.7 percent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday. Economists had expected growth to slow to 2.3 percent after March’s surprising 14.2 percent jump, which some analysts suspected was inflated by seasonal and one-off factors.
China’s crude oil imports in April unexpectedly surged to a record despite refinery maintenance outages and tepid domestic fuel demand, customs data showed, as state-run refiners built up stocks of Iranian crude oil anticipating a sanctions clampdown.Imports last month were 43.73 million tonnes, equal to 10.64 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
China’s soybean imports in April jumped 10.7 percent from the same period a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, as shipments delayed from March reached the world’s top oilseed buyer.China imported 7.64 million tonnes of soybeans in April, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. That is up from 6.9 million tonnes a year earlier and up 55 percent from 4.92 million tonnes in March.
Last month when New Delhi was allowed to load Iranian oil ahead of U.S. sanctions stopping purchases of oil from the OPEC member.India, Iran's top oil client after China, shipped in about 277,600 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Tehran in April, down about 31.5 per cent from the previous month, preliminary tanker arrival data from shipping and industry sources showed.The United States introduced sanctions in November but gave a six-month waiver to eight nations, including India, which allowed them to import some Iranian oil.
India was allowed to buy an average 300,000 bpd of oil during November-April, but actual volumes varied from month to month due to lack of ships after foreign shipping lines backed out of Iranian deals under pressure from U.S. sanctions.In April, Washington asked buyers of Iranian oil, mostly in Asia, to halt purchases or face sanctions.
The European Union’s industrial heartlands, its urban regions and Germany are the biggest beneficiaries of the bloc’s single market, according to a study that highlights the economic and social inequalities plaguing the bloc.The single market seeks to guarantee free movement of goods, capital, services and labor across the 28-nation EU.A report by the Bertelsmann Foundation found that Germany, Europe’s largest economy, benefited most in absolute terms from the single market, earning an extra 86 billion euros ($96 billion) a year because of it.It found that each German was on average 1,046 euros richer as a result of single market membership, while on average EU citizens were only 840 euros richer.Not everyone profits equally from the single market, but everyone does gain.
Singapore’s central bank said on Wednesday it will disclose more information on the actions it takes to implement monetary policy, including releasing data on foreign exchange intervention every six months.The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) manages policy through exchange rate settings rather than interest rates, letting the Singapore dollar rise or fall against the currencies of its main trading partners within an undisclosed policy band.
On Tuesday, the cross-party Brexit talks failed to deliver an agreement over the Brexit deal that the UK Prime Minister Theresa May could present in the parliament for voting. As a result, the UK government confirms Britain will take part in EU elections on 23 May. This weighed increasingly on the PM May’s reputation among Tories who have been trying to oust her off-late.After the failed negotiations, The Sun reported that PM May gave until 04:00 PM (GMT) today to set out a road map for her resignation otherwise she will have to accept whatever plans are being determined by the Tories.However, PM May responded actively to the ultimatum and presented plans to complete Brexit talks by September, which indirectly signals that Mrs. May will be in the office for at least four more months from now.
Elsewhere, the opposition Labour party members aren’t quite happy with PM May’s Brexit proposal despite her efforts to strike customs agreement with the EU. The cross-party Brexit talks are to continue whereas EU election in the middle of the month could gain additional attention.In the case of the US, political rift with Iran and trade tussle with China grab the spotlight.
Asian equities tracked Wall Street’s slide on Wednesday, while investors switched to safe-haven government bonds, driven by fears that global growth will suffer as a potential trade deal between the United States and China appeared to be unravelling.
Gold prices rose to their highest in more than a week on Wednesday as renewed worries over U.S.-China trade dispute and its potential impact on global growth dented risk sentiment, stoking investors towards safe-haven assets.Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,285.56 per ounce, as of 0305 GMT, after hitting their highest since April 26 at $1,287.08 U.S. gold futures edged 0.1 percent higher to $1,287 an ounce.
Oil prices rose on Wednesday as U.S. sanctions against crude exporters Iran and Venezuela as well as ongoing supply cuts by producers have left markets relatively tight just as crude imports to China rose to a record for April.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.90 per barrel at 0451 GMT on Wednesday, 80 cents, or 0.8 percent, above their last settlement.Brent crude oil futures were at $70.29 per barrel, 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, above their last close.With U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela in place, analysts said global oil markets remained tight.