Trump Hints China Trade Moves for Argentina G20 After Xi Call

Jeannie Matthews
November 4, 2018

"We've had very good discussions with China, we're getting much closer to doing something", Trump said.

The pound dipped but held most of its gains after a report that British Prime Minister Theresa May had reached a post-Brexit deal with Brussels securing access to the European Union for Britain's key finance sector.

Chinese tech stocks traded in the U.S. are surging across the board.

The Nikkei was up 2.3% in Tokyo, the Hang Seng climbed 3.35% in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite was up 3%.

"I think we'll make a deal with China, and I think it will be a very fair deal for everybody", Trump said Friday at the White House before leaving for political rallies in West Virginia and Indiana.

"We're optimistic this is a potential off-ramp of increasingly antagonistic trade tensions and hope it leads to a pause and new negotiations", he said.

"This seems a flawless way to ensure equities rally into election day, put Xi into a box in terms of what is expected of him in the terms of the deal. and then have someone to blame when the deal then falls through", Every said in an email.

Given that tariffs are generally inflationary and bad for economic growth, investors have not been particularly pleased with the idea of a drawn-out trade war - or the possibility of more tariffs.

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ECONOMIC NEWS: The latest reading of Caixin Purchasing Managers' Index, a gauge tracking smaller private firms released on Thursday, edged up to 50.1 in October from 50 in September, showing little signs of improvement in China's manufacturing sector growth. Can an agreement stick?

The telephone conversation on Thursday was Trump and Xi's first publicly disclosed call in six months.

China's foreign ministry says a phone conversation between President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart, Donald Trump, about trade and other issues was "extremely positive". Trump has also threatened to extend the tariffs to all Chinese imports if the meeting in Argentina fails to produce "a good deal". "They want to make a deal", Trump said Friday outside the White House.

"He wants to do it", Trump said of Xi.

Both China and the USA have been locked in an increasingly bitter trade dispute in the past few months, with both the nations slapping tariffs on each other's imports, leading to the straining of ties between the world's two largest economies.

Trump imposed new tariffs on roughly half of Chinese imports this summer while Beijing fired back with tariffs on most USA products.

Trump revealed Thursday that he had spoken with Xi on several subjects, but focused on trade.

Disagreements on trade have "adversely affected" industries from both countries as well as global trade, Xi said.

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