Top U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators concluded the first of two days of talks on Thursday to rescue a trade deal that is close to collapsing as Washington prepares to go ahead with plans to hike tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods imported from China.Tension between Washington and Beijing has risen after a major setback in negotiations last week when China revised a draft deal and weakened commitments to meet U.S. demands for trade reform.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talked for 90 minutes on Thursday and were expected to resume talks on Friday.Before they get back around the table on Friday, the United States will have increased duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods, to 25 percent from 10 percent. The duties apply to cargoes leaving China after 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) Friday.
China on Friday said it “deeply regrets” the United States’ decision to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, adding without elaborating that it would take necessary countermeasures. China’s Commerce Ministry said in a short statement that it hoped the United States could meet China halfway and resolve the issue through cooperation and consultation.
Risks of a recession and heightening global uncertainties pushed Japan’s central bank to commit to keeping interest rates at super-low levels for at least one more year, a summary of discussions at the April policy review showed.The nine-member board also debated the pros and cons of ramping up stimulus further, with one member warning that further declines in borrowing costs could do more harm than good to the economy, the summary showed on Friday.At the April meeting, the BOJ kept intact a pledge to guide short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 percent and long-term rates around zero percent via aggressive bond buying.
India and China have agreed to resolve market access issues “expeditiously” to promote a more balanced trade, the Indian government said in a statement on Friday. China is India’s second-biggest trading partner and a trade deficit has widened in favor of Beijing by nearly 75 percent to $63 billion since 2014, when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power.
The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the “Wise Honest,” was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S. Justice Department officials said.
The leader of North Korea ordered its military to boost its strike capability as he directed another missile firing, state media said on Friday, as tensions grew over tests that appeared to show preparations for a new advanced missile system.The call for “full combat posture” by Kim Jong Un came while the United States announced it had seized a large cargo ship for carrying an illegal shipment of coal.The increased tensions come amid a gridlock in dialogue after the second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump collapsed over U.S. demands for Pyongyang’s nuclear disarmament and Kim’s demands for relief from punishing sanctions.
Theresa May is planning fresh indicative votes as the humiliated Prime Minister plots to reawaken her botched Brexit withdrawal agreement. Mrs May is under severe pressure from her party and Parliament to finally find a way through the EU negotiations. According to the Daily Telegraph, she is preparing to hold votes within two weeks if her controversial discussions with Labour breakdown.
Under consideration are a number of methods to get the UK’s exit over the line, including getting MPs to rank the alternative Brexit outcomes in order of preference.The method could see second and third choices being counted if no majority of preferred options claims a majority.“If we can’t agree a Brexit deal with Labour we will move on to discussing a new round of indicative votes and how they could be done.”
Gold prices were steady on Friday, remaining on track for a weekly gain as investors shy away from riskier assets on worries that a rift over trade between the United States and China could deepen if talks between the two fail to reach a deal.Spot gold was unchanged at $1,283.41 per ounce at 0311 GMT and is up about 0.4% for the week.U.S. gold futures were also steady at $1,284.30 an ounce.
Oil prices pared earlier gains on Friday following U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increase on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect, escalating the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies and oil consumers.Prices had risen more than 1 percent earlier in the day as optimism mounted that the tariffs would be averted after U.S. Trump said he received a “beautiful letter” from Chinese President Xi Jinping.Brent crude futures were at $70.41 a barrel at 0523 GMT, up 2 cents from their last close, after rising to as high as $71.23 a barrel.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.78 per barrel, up 8 cents, after rising to as high as $62.49 a barrel earlier in the day.