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m3n4.net March 21, 2019


Asian stocks rise on reports US, China close to trade deal

07 March 2019, 12:44 | Vera Richards

Senior White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington

Senior White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington

The Wall Street Journal reported Washington could lift most or all of its tariffs on Beijing while a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign a final trade deal could happen later this month.

"China and the United States reaching a mutually-beneficial, win-win agreement as soon as possible is not only good for the two countries, but is also good news for the world economy", said Guo Weimin, spokesman for the high profile but largely ceremonial advisory body to China's parliament.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 index of US stocks were up 0.3 percent by midday in London. That means Trump's presidency will have seen the United States trade deficit-the main metric by which his judges countries to be winning or losing-grow by more than $100 billion. The CSI300 index rallied last week after index provider MSCI quadrupled its weighting for mainland shares in its global benchmarks.

Economists say the trade deficit is swelling because of broad economic forces, including a chronic shortfall in national savings that was exacerbated by last year's US$1.5 trillion corporate and personal income tax cut.

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Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.7 per cent to 29,012.17 and Seoul's Kospi lost 0.2 per cent to 2,190.66. After accounting for the impact of higher tariff revenue and the benefits of higher prices to domestic producers the study found the aggregate annual loss for the US economy fell to $6.4 billion, or 0.03 percent of GDP.

Significantly, the analysis of import price data by Mary Amiti, Stephen Redding and David Weinstein also found that nearly all of the cost of the tariffs was being paid by US consumers and companies.

Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer went before Congress and indicated that much work still needs to be done before coming to an agreement.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at the 2019 Commodity Classic last week told reporters, a "magnificent conclusion to the U.S". Yet a hundred years from now the latter decision might prove to have been more significant.

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In a separate report released recently, economists from the University of California at Los Angeles, Yale, UC Berkeley, Columbia and the World Bank estimated, "Annual losses from higher costs of imports are $68.8 billion (0.37% of GDP)". Most of those bets are positioned to take advantage of higher US interest rates.

The euro fell to its lowest in a week, down 0.25 percent on the day at $1.1339.

On currency markets the dollar extended gains against the safe-haven yen as dealers became more confident, while the greenback was down against most high-yielding units including the Australian dollar, South African rand and Thai baht.

Elsewhere, oil prices gained on Monday with Brent futures up 0.7 percent at $65.53 a barrel.

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Sydney rose 0.4 percent and Singapore 0.8 percent, while Wellington added 0.7 percent and Manila 0.6 percent.



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