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US-Japan trade deal progress likely in ‘months’, says US official

WASHINGTON, June 20 — Tokyo understands Washington’s desire to negotiate greater access to the Japanese market and efforts to reach a new trade agreement should bear fruit soon, a top US trade official said yesterday. The testimony by US Trade…


Canada first G20 country to ban trade in shark fins

TORONTO, June 20 — Canada passed a new law banning the import and export of shark fins, which also includes a requirement to rebuild depleted fish populations. The new Fisheries Act, approved late on Tuesday, was hailed by environmental and…


US Fed sees case building for interest rate cuts this year

WASHINGTON, June 20 — The US Federal Reserve yesterday said it was ready to battle growing global and domestic economic risks with interest rate cuts beginning as early as next month, as it took stock of rising trade tensions and growing concerns…


US trade chief says meeting with Chinese negotiator to precede G20 summit

WASHINGTON, June 19 — The top US trade negotiator said today it is in the interests of China and the United States to have a successful trade pact and he expects to meet with a senior Chinese official ahead of next week’s G20 summit in Japan…


Asian stock markets extend global rally as Trump fuels trade deal hope

HONG KONG: Asian markets rallied today after US President Donald Trump hailed “very good” phone talks with China’s President Xi Jinping and said they would meet at the Group of 20 (G20) summit next week, renewing hopes for a deal to end a bruising trade war.

Trump’s comments provided a much-needed boost to investors after a month of volatility sparked by his shock decision to hit China with fresh tariffs, ending months of apparently positive negotiations.

Adding to the upbeat mood were comments from the European Central Bank head Mario Draghi hinting at a cut in interest rates to support the stuttering eurozone economy.

The Federal Reserve was also due to end its latest policy meeting later today, with dealers hoping for some idea about its plans for rates.

After a healthy lead from Wall Street, the vast majority of Asia’s markets posted gains of at least 1% – with Hong Kong leading the way by jumping more than 2%.

Tokyo ended 1.7% higher, Shanghai added 1%, Singapore put on 1.4% and Sydney 1.2%.

Taipei added 2%, while Wellington, Seoul, Manila, Jakarta and Bangkok were above the 1% level. Mumbai was also in positive territory.

In Europe, stock markets steadied this morning after the previous session’s strong rally, as investors await a key monetary policy update from the Federal Reserve.

At around 1030 GMT, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.3%, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 was up 0.1% and Paris’ CAC 40 was 0.1% higher. The Euro Stoxx 50 was flat.

“European markets are taking a breather in the wake of yesterday’s huge gains across the globe,” noted Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG trading group.

The Asian rally was sparked after Trump tweeted: “Had a very good telephone conversation with Xi. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”

Later he told reporters “the meeting might very well go well”, adding that China wanted to make a deal.

“China and the US will both gain by cooperating and lose by fighting,” Xi told Trump, according to a readout by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

Trump’s tweet followed weeks of speculation about whether the heads of the two most powerful economies would actually meet on the sidelines of the G20 in Osaka. Trump had warned that if Xi did not turn up he would increase tariffs on virtually all China’s exports to the US.

However, analysts pointed out that it was in both of their interests to bring an end to the long-running dispute.

“There is strong incentive for both presidents to re-engage,” said Tai Hui, chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific at JPMorgan Asset Management.

“Trump is kick-starting his (re-election) campaign and he will need strong economic performance over the next 18 months. President Xi will also need trade tensions to cool down to support China’s domestic economy, while pursuing financial market liberalisation.”

The optimism underpinned a rally in riskier assets, with high-yielding currencies benefiting. South Korea’s won jumped 0.8%, the South African rand added 0.9% and Indonesia’s rupiah gained 0.4%.

The Chinese yuan, which has struggled in recent weeks, climbed 0.4%.

The euro, however, extended Tuesday’s losses after Draghi’s remarks that weak growth and soft inflation could lead to further rate cuts to historic lows.

He also batted back an accusation from Trump of currency manipulation, saying the ECB’s mandate “is price stability”.


Asian stock markets extend global rally as Trump fuels trade deal hope

HONG KONG: Asian markets rallied today after US President Donald Trump hailed “very good” phone talks with China’s President Xi Jinping and said they would meet at the Group of 20 (G20) summit next week, renewing hopes for a deal to end a bruising trade war.

Trump’s comments provided a much-needed boost to investors after a month of volatility sparked by his shock decision to hit China with fresh tariffs, ending months of apparently positive negotiations.

Adding to the upbeat mood were comments from the European Central Bank head Mario Draghi hinting at a cut in interest rates to support the stuttering eurozone economy.

The Federal Reserve was also due to end its latest policy meeting later today, with dealers hoping for some idea about its plans for rates.

After a healthy lead from Wall Street, the vast majority of Asia’s markets posted gains of at least 1% – with Hong Kong leading the way by jumping more than 2%.

Tokyo ended 1.7% higher, Shanghai added 1%, Singapore put on 1.4% and Sydney 1.2%.

Taipei added 2%, while Wellington, Seoul, Manila, Jakarta and Bangkok were above the 1% level. Mumbai was also in positive territory.

In Europe, stock markets steadied this morning after the previous session’s strong rally, as investors await a key monetary policy update from the Federal Reserve.

At around 1030 GMT, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.3%, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 was up 0.1% and Paris’ CAC 40 was 0.1% higher. The Euro Stoxx 50 was flat.

“European markets are taking a breather in the wake of yesterday’s huge gains across the globe,” noted Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG trading group.

The Asian rally was sparked after Trump tweeted: “Had a very good telephone conversation with Xi. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”

Later he told reporters “the meeting might very well go well”, adding that China wanted to make a deal.

“China and the US will both gain by cooperating and lose by fighting,” Xi told Trump, according to a readout by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

Trump’s tweet followed weeks of speculation about whether the heads of the two most powerful economies would actually meet on the sidelines of the G20 in Osaka. Trump had warned that if Xi did not turn up he would increase tariffs on virtually all China’s exports to the US.

However, analysts pointed out that it was in both of their interests to bring an end to the long-running dispute.

“There is strong incentive for both presidents to re-engage,” said Tai Hui, chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific at JPMorgan Asset Management.

“Trump is kick-starting his (re-election) campaign and he will need strong economic performance over the next 18 months. President Xi will also need trade tensions to cool down to support China’s domestic economy, while pursuing financial market liberalisation.”

The optimism underpinned a rally in riskier assets, with high-yielding currencies benefiting. South Korea’s won jumped 0.8%, the South African rand added 0.9% and Indonesia’s rupiah gained 0.4%.

The Chinese yuan, which has struggled in recent weeks, climbed 0.4%.

The euro, however, extended Tuesday’s losses after Draghi’s remarks that weak growth and soft inflation could lead to further rate cuts to historic lows.

He also batted back an accusation from Trump of currency manipulation, saying the ECB’s mandate “is price stability”.


In China’s Chongqing, high-rises buck property slowdown

CHONGQING, June 19 — In many Chinese cities, government restrictions have cooled formerly feverish property markets, but in the southwestern city of Chongqing, construction is booming and sales soaring as investors rush in. The most audacious…


Persistent buying pushes Bursa Malaysia higher at close

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Persistent buying pushed Bursa Malaysia to close higher, led by Malaysia Airports which jumped 58 sen to RM8.51 and Tenaga which increased 28 sen to RM13.28 today. The momentum came after upbeat comments on the US-China…


US fines firms transhipping via Cambodia to dodge Trump’s China tariffs

PHNOM PENH, June 19 — The United States has fined several companies for exporting goods via a Chinese-owned special economic zone in Cambodia in a bid to dodge President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports, a US Embassy official told…


Tokyo shares end higher on upbeat trade news

TOKYO, June 19 — Tokyo stocks ended higher today, extending rallies on Wall Street following upbeat comments from the US and China on trade ahead of the G20 summit. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.72 per cent, or 361.16 points, to 21,333.87,…