China’s November forex reserves ease to $3.096 trillion, focus stays on trade talks By Reuters


© Reuters. China’s November forex reserves ease to $3.096 trillion, focus stays on trade talks

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s foreign exchange reserves fell $9 billion in November to $3.096 trillion, central bank data showed on Saturday, as Washington and Beijing remained locked in negotiations over an interim trade agreement.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected China’s reserves, the world’s largest, would fall $4 billion to $3.101 trillion in November.

Despite the slowing Chinese economy and escalating U.S.-China trade war, its reserves have been gradually rising since late 2018, helped by tight capital controls and rising inflows from foreign investors who are snapping up the country’s stocks and bonds.

Modest changes in reserve levels in recent months have been largely ascribed to fluctuations in global exchange rates and the value of assets that China holds such as foreign bonds.

The yuan has been driven largely by twists and turns in the 17-month long trade war between China and the United States.

After sliding sharply this summer as the dispute suddenly escalated, the yuan rose for three straight months through November on hopes of a trade truce, only to slide again in early December as tensions between Washington and Beijing flared. Fresh U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are set to take effect on Dec. 15.

It gained 0.12% against the dollar in November, but remains about 2.3% weaker for the year to date.

The dollar, meanwhile, rose about 1 percent against a basket of other major currencies in November.

The value of the country’s gold reserves fell to $91.47 billion at the end of November from $94.65 billion at the end of October.

China held 62.64 million fine troy ounces of gold at the end of November, unchanged from October.

China’s economic growth cooled to 6.0% in the third quarter, the slowest pace in nearly 30 years, and many economists believe it will decelerate further into the upper 5% range in 2020.

Still, analysts note capital outflows have been modest compared with the last economic downturn in 2015-16, when policymakers burned through roughly $1 trillion in reserves supporting the yuan.

China’s central bank has started to slowly trim interest rates in recent months, and more reductions are expected in coming quarters to avert a sharper slowdown.

But analysts believe those cuts will likely be more gradual and smaller than those in 2015. If so, moves in the yuan are likely to be influenced more by trade developments than policy easing.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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BOJ to consider offering bleaker view on output as trade war bites: sources By Reuters



By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan will consider offering a bleaker assessment on factory output than in October at its rate review this month, sources said, underscoring its concern over the broadening fallout from the U.S.-China trade war and slowing global demand.

A downgrade in the BOJ’s view on output – a key driver of growth – will cast doubt on its argument that Japan’s economy will sustain a moderate expansion as robust domestic demand make up for weak exports.

Factory output contracted in October in the biggest slump in nearly two years and manufacturers expect output to drop again in November, government data showed.

While the government blamed the weakness mostly on temporary shutdowns of factories due to the typhoon, analysts warned that weakening demand for cars and other big-ticket items after a sales tax hike in October was taking a toll.

“October output was quite weak. The key worry is the impact of sluggish auto demand,” one source with direct knowledge of the matter said, a view echoed by two other sources.

In its current assessment made in October, the BOJ says factory output is moving sideways. The nine-member board may offer a slightly bleaker view, such as that output is weakening, when it meets for a rate review on Dec. 18-19, the sources said.

Many analysts expect the BOJ to keep monetary policy steady this month, after Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he saw no need to ramp up stimulus now with the economy sustaining a recovery.

Given its limited policy tool-kit, the BOJ is hoping the government’s fiscal spending package will ease the hit to growth from the global slowdown and the sales tax hike.

But a recent string of weak data is likely to keep the central bank under pressure to deploy additional monetary support to prevent another recession.

Retail sales plunged at their fastest pace since early 2015 in October, dashing policymakers’ hopes that the impact from the October tax hike will be moderate.

The BOJ will scrutinize upcoming data, such as its quarterly “tankan” business sentiment survey, to decide whether it needs to cut its overall assessment of the economy, the sources said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Wall Street Week Ahead: Tariff deadline keeps focus on trade as 2019 draws to close


NEW YORK (Reuters) – The stock market looks set to end 2019 the way it began the year — highly sensitive to headlines from President Donald Trump’s global trade war.

FILE PHOTO: Trucks offload containers from ship at the port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Stocks pulled back from record highs to start December, undermined by comments from Trump and others in his administration suggesting any deal to resolve the trade dispute between the United States and China would not come soon. But the market rebounded at the end of the week on Friday’s strong U.S. jobs and a change in tone from Trump.

Wall Street could see more volatility ahead of Dec. 15, when the next tranche of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports is set to take effect.

At the start of the week, investors said equity prices were factoring in that those tariffs would be delayed if not canceled as Beijing and Washington work on a “phase one” trade deal. But subsequent tough talk from Trump officials has shaken those expectations somewhat.

“Until we get some finality on this, the day-to-day is going to move on headlines that suggest progress or lack thereof,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust Advisory Services in Atlanta.

While the dispute between the world’s two largest economies commands the spotlight, other trade issues also have drawn investor attention. They include a recent delay in ratification of the North American Trade pact, potential U.S. tariffs on imported autos and Trump’s issuing surprise levies on steel imports from Brazil and Argentina.

Optimism over a U.S.-China truce has helped push the major Wall Street indexes to all-times highs recently, with the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX logging a gain of more than 20% so far in 2019. But as the latest swings show, lack of a resolution to a trade dispute that has lasted nearly two years continues to weigh on the market.

“The problem is the uncertainty that the trade war process has on business decisions,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York. “Without some sort of short-term truce, company spending gets frozen and that’s where it affects the economy and the market.”

(GRAPHIC: U.S.-China trade war timeline – here )

The tariffs on $156 billion in Chinese imports that could take effect Dec. 15 are largely on consumer goods, including cellphones, laptop and desktop computers, toys and clothing.

UBS economists estimate those tariffs would drag on U.S. gross domestic product by either 0.1% or 0.2% in each of the four quarters next year. UBS projects overall GDP growth to average 1.1% in 2020, with tariffs generally weighing heavily in the first half of the year.

Aside from the fallout from the tariffs themselves, “the next read from them going into effect is that trade discussions are not going well,” said Walter Todd, chief investment officer with Greenwood Capital in South Carolina.

Political tensions over U.S. support for protesters in Hong Kong and over Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority have also raised concerns about the prospects for an initial trade deal.

“Without a phase one plan on getting something signed early in the new year, I think the market is susceptible for a pullback,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC.

The focus will remain on trade into next week, even as the Federal Reserve holds its last meeting of 2019, with the U.S. central bank expected to keep interest rates steady after three cuts earlier in the year.

“The Fed chairman pretty much outlined that the bar is very high to raise rates,” SunTrust’s Lerner said.

However, he added, if some of the tariffs result in a sharp slowdown, “the Fed would have to act eventually” by cutting rates.

FILE PHOTO: A Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Investors will also be looking for signs of strength in the holiday shopping season, given that consumer spending is seen as a key pillar holding up overall economic growth.

There is a strong incentive to push off the tariffs “as long as people are at the negotiating table,” said Carol Schleif, deputy chief investment officer at Abbot Downing in Minneapolis.

“President Trump definitely doesn’t want a downbeat consumer going into the election cycle,” she said.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Alden Bentley and Dan Grebler



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Gold Prices Fall as Uncertainty Over Sino-U.S. Trade Progress Continues By Investing.com


© Reuters.

Investing.com – Prices of the safe-haven gold fell on Friday in Asia as traders continued to monitor Sino-U.S. trade news.

The U.S. fell 0.4% to $1,477.45 by 1:42 AM ET (05:42 GMT).

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump said trade talks were “moving right along”, pushing global equities higher.

Uncertainties over a deal remained, as the president’s comments this week sent mixed signals regarding the trade talk progress.

Trump said overnight that negotiations with China are going “very well” overnight, just one day after he dented hopes for a trade deal by saying that an agreement to end the trade dispute may have to be delayed until after the American presidential election in November 2020.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that negotiations between Washington and Beijing were progressing, without a deadline for conclusion.

On the data front, the latest U.S. job report due later in the day is expected to generate some attention.

Gold traders are also awaiting the upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, which is scheduled next week. The Fed is expected to keep rates on hold at 1.50-1.75%.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Dollar heads for weekly decline as data and trade tensions weigh By Reuters



By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar nursed a week of losses on Friday, hit by nervousness on trade and mixed signals about the U.S. economy, while the British pound stood tall as bets firmed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson can win a commanding electoral victory.

The safe havens of the Japanese yen and Swiss franc were in demand as a hedge against Sino-U.S. trade talks collapsing, and as investors fretted that U.S. jobs figures due later in the day may fail to deliver an expected rebound.

“Markets are in a highly fragile condition at the moment,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“So there is a greater potential for an exaggerated move if we see a big divergence from expectations on non-farm payrolls – but the risk is in both directions, particularly with the lack of trade news.”

The euro () held on to overnight gains against the greenback to buy $1.1104, having climbed 0.8% this week. The yen has added 0.9% on the dollar this week and was steady at 108.72 yen per dollar on Friday.

Against a basket of currencies () the dollar has dropped every day this week for a cumulative loss of almost 1%.

The best gains have been won by the soaring and British pound. The kiwi sat just below a four-month high touched on Thursday at $0.6541, having gained 1.8% this week as expectations for deep monetary easing have ebbed.

Sterling climbed to a 2-1/2 year high of 84.28 pence against the euro () overnight – holding near there on Friday – and has advanced 1.7% against the dollar this week, last trading at $1.3158 .

Opinion polls suggest the ruling Conservatives will win an outright majority in the Dec. 12 election, removing some of the uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the European Union that has weighed on the currency for years. Cable has rallied 10% since September lows.

“There’s still a bit of nervousness about being too convinced,” said Jim Leaviss, head of fixed income at fund manager M&G Investments. “But nevertheless cable seems to think that we do get a clear majority for Boris Johnson,” he said.

“That means that we leave the EU on the 31st of January…I think the options market was pricing in another 7% upside on a Conservative victory, and I think that’s justified fundamentally.”

On the trade front, U.S. President Donald Trump remained upbeat overnight and said talks are “moving right along”.

Worries stem from a lack of similar enthusiasm from the Chinese side, after Chinese officials reiterated their stance that some U.S. tariffs must be rolled back for a deal.

The focus on U.S. non-farm payrolls, due at 1330 GMT, comes after dismal data through the week that showed weak private payrolls, soft services activity and a shrinking manufacturing sector.

A Reuters poll shows a forecast of 180,000 jobs being added in November. “Below 150,000 or above 210,000 we could see a significant market reaction,” said CMC Markets’ McCarthy.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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U.S. trade deficit shrinks sharply; labor market tight By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A shipping container is unloaded from a neopanamax vessel at Wando Welch Terminal operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority in Mount Pleasant

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. trade deficit dropped to its lowest level in nearly 1-1/2 years in October, suggesting trade could contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter, though a broad decline in imports hinted at a slowdown in domestic demand.

Still, consumer spending is likely to remain supported by a strong labor market. Other data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, hitting their lowest level in seven months.

The reports countered data this week showing manufacturing activity contracting for a fourth straight month in November, a slowdown in growth in the services sector as well as a drop in construction spending in October. The latest data suggested the economy was growing at a moderate pace rather than stall speed.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit tumbled 7.6% to $47.2 billion, the smallest since May 2018, as both imports and exports of goods declined. It was the second straight monthly drop in the trade bill and the percent drop was the biggest since January.

The decreases in imports and exports suggested the White House’s “America First” agenda, marked by a 17-month trade war with China, was reducing trade flows, which in the long run is detrimental to domestic and global growth.

“Shrinking the trade deficit by cutting imports even faster than you cut exports is obviously not a sustainable long-term path to drive growth for any economy,” said Tim Quinlan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo (NYSE:) Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap narrowing to $48.7 billion in October.

The goods trade deficit with China fell 1.1% to $31.3 billion, with imports unchanged and exports increasing 3.4%.

The goods trade gap with the European Union jumped 20% to $16.4 billion, with imports surging to a record high.

While Washington and Beijing are working on a “phase one” trade deal, the United States has ratcheted up tensions with other trade partners including Brazil, Argentina and France.

President Donald Trump has defended the tariffs as necessary to protect domestic manufacturers from what he says is unfair foreign competition. Trump has accused trading partners, including China, the European Union, Brazil and Argentina of devaluing their currencies at the expense of U.S. manufacturers.

Ironically, the United States has a goods trade surplus with Brazil, which swelled in October to its highest level since March 2014. It is also running a goods trade surplus with Argentina. The goods trade surplus with South and Central America hit a record high in October.

The dollar was weaker against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasury yields rose. U.S. stocks were trading lower amid a lack of new developments in U.S.-China trade talks.

IMPORTS, EXPORTS FALL

Trade tensions have undermined business investment, which together with slowing growth overseas has led to a recession in manufacturing.

In a second report on Thursday, the Commerce Department said factory orders increased 0.3% in October, but shipments were unchanged and unfilled orders barely rose, indicating the manufacturing downturn could persist for a while.

There are, however, no signs the trade war is significantly impacting the labor market. In a third report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 203,000 for the week ended Nov. 30, the lowest level since mid-April.

While the claims data has no bearing on November’s employment report, scheduled for release on Friday, it underscored labor market strength.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 180,000 jobs in November, boosted by the return of about 46,000 striking General Motors (N:) workers. The strike had helped to hold job growth down to 128,000 in October.

Employment gains have slowed this year, averaging 167,000 per month compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018, because of ebbing demand and a shortage of workers. But the pace of hiring has been more than the roughly 100,000 jobs needed per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

When adjusted for inflation, the goods trade deficit decreased $3.9 billion to $79.1 billion in October, also the smallest gap since May 2018.

The drop in the so-called real trade deficit is positive for the calculation of gross domestic product. It suggested trade could add to GDP growth in the fourth quarter after being a drag for two straight quarters. The Atlanta Federal Reserve raised its fourth-quarter GDP estimate to a 1.5% annualized rate from a 1.3% pace. The economy grew at a 2.1% pace in the third quarter.

But the drivers of the decline in the trade gap in October point to softening economic fundamentals. In October, goods imports dropped 2.1% to $204.1 billion. Consumer goods imports fell $2.4 billion amid declines in cellphones and other household items, toys, games and sporting goods, as well as pharmaceutical preparations. This implies a slower pace of consumer spending after two straight quarters of brisk growth.

“The drop in imports is a double-edge sword,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “The good news is that it helped narrow the deficit, but it could also signal weakness in domestic demand.”

Motor vehicle and parts imports dropped $1.8 billion. Motor vehicle parts imports accounted for most of the drop, likely reflecting the GM strike, which undercut motor vehicle production. A reversal is likely.

Goods exports fell 0.6% to $136.1 billion in October. They were led by a $0.7 billion drop in shipments of consumer goods. Motor vehicle exports and parts exports also fell. There were, however, an increase in exports, pushing the petroleum surplus to a record high.

The services surplus widened to $20.8 billion in October from $20.6 billion in September.



Trump threatens trade action to spur NATO contributions By Reuters



WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States may take action on trade with countries that are not contributing enough to NATO.

Trump, fresh from a trip to London for a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has been pushing member countries to contribute their share to the organization.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Forex- U.S. Dollar Falls on Mixed Trade Signals; Pound Rises  By Investing.com


© Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar fell on Thursday, as mixed trade signals kept investors at bay.

Earlier in the day, China reiterated its expectations that tariffs should be lifted as part of a phase-one deal, after Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that U.S. officials expect a deal before the latest round of American tariffs takes effect on Dec. 15.

The news was a complete turnaround from comments from U.S. President Donald Trump earlier in the week. Trump said Tuesday that a deal could be made after the 2020 election, sending markets reeling.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.2% to 97.458 as of 10:31 AM ET (15:31 GMT). The dollar was lower against the safe-haven Japanese yen, with down 0.1% to 108.75.

Elsewhere, the pound continued to rise due to confidence that the Conservative Party will win the general election on Dec. 12. gained 0.2% to 1.3129, while rose 0.2% to 1.1853.

was up 0.2% to 1.1092, despite a fresh drop in German earlier in the day that point to another weak quarter for the euro zone’s largest economy.

The Canadian dollar was edged slightly higher after data showed that Canada’s slightly narrowed in October. fell 0.1% to 1.3184.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Dollar Edges Lower Amid Mixed Messages on Trade By Investing.com


© Reuters.

Investing.com – The dollar edged lower against a basket of its rivals on Thursday as mixed messages on trade from U.S. President Donald Trump tempered hopes that China and the U.S. may soon reach an agreement to end their protracted trade war.

Trump said on Wednesday that trade talks with China were going “very well,” sounding more positive than on Tuesday when he said a trade deal might have to wait until after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

His comments on Tuesday, which raised the prospect of a long extension of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, hit market sentiment.

Markets rebounded on Wednesday when Bloomberg reported that the two sides are moving closer to an agreement.

“I thought the markets had stopped playing headline ping- pong on trade, but evidently not,” said National Australia Bank’s head FX strategist, Ray Attrill. “Another day, another reversal of what happened the previous day.”

If Beijing and Washington cannot reach an agreement soon, the next important date is Dec. 15, when the U.S. is due to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods.

Movements in major currencies were muted. The safe-haven Japanese was steady at 108.86 per dollar by 02:56 AM ET (7:56 GMT), while the inched higher to 0.9879 per dollar.

The was a touch higher against the dollar at 1.1083, which pushed the down 0.1%.

In the euro zone, data showed that German factory orders unexpectedly in October, indicating that the manufacturing sector in the bloc’s largest economy is struggling to pull out of a more than year long slump.

The touched fresh eight-month highs, buoyed by expectations that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would win a majority at next week’s election, paving the way for Britain to leave the European Union on Jan. 31.

Currency traders are turning their attention to the closely watched U.S. non-farm payrolls report due Friday to determine how well the U.S. economy is holding up amid a global slowdown.

The dipped to 0.6843 after softer-than-expected data.

The New Zealand dollar was at 0.6536 after rising as high as 0.6562 overnight, its strongest since August. The has been boosted this week by a rebound in domestic business sentiment while expectations for monetary easing have diminished.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Thursday lifted bank capital requirements, but not as much as some investors had feared, and with a long lead time, reducing expectations that monetary easing might be needed to offset the hike’s tightening effects.

–Reuters contributed to this report

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Asian stocks up as trade pendulum swings to optimism  By Investing.com


© Reuters.

Investing.com – Asia stocks opened on an upbeat tone after more positive tones on the possibility of a trade deal between the US and China, after days of contradictory developments.

Most markets in Asia gained during morning trading on Thursday but the gains were modest compared to several days of losses. The risk-on mood was fueled by news, first reported by Bloomberg, that negotiators may be closers to an agreement on tariff relief measures that would be part of a phase one deal between the US and China and that such a deal could even happen before additional US tariffs on Chinese goods kick in on Dec. 15.

On Wednesday, a day after saying he has no deadline for a deal and would not be opposed to waiting until after the elections in November 2020, US President Donald Trump said discussions are going very well.

The ended the Wednesday session in the US up 0.53% and the S&P 500 gained 0.63% while the Nasdaq climbed 0.54%.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s opened up and gained 0.53% to 26,169 by 8:50 PM ET (01:50 GMT) making back some ground after days of heavy losses.

China’s  was up 0.40% to 2,889 while the was up 0.29% at 9714. US-China trade talks remained a focus for traders after Trump said on Monday that the signing of two pieces of legislation that support protesters in Hong Kong would not make negotiations easier. However, he said China still wants a deal.

Japan’s  was up 0.57% to 23,266.

South Korea’s  was basically flat, down 0.05% to 2,067.

Down under, Australia’s was up 0.87% to 6,664.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.