Chinese Stocks Rally After Trump’s Tariff Hike Delay: ‘Markets are Happy’

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Andy Wong

U.S. President Donald Trump sent stock markets soaring with his announcement Sunday that he would delay an American tariff hike on Chinese goods. Trump cited “substantial progress” in trade negotiations between the United States and China, the world’s top two largest economies.

On Sunday night, President Trump revealed that he is planning to hold a summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to finalize an agreement over the trade dispute that has heightened tensions between the United States and China.

Via Twitter, Trump declared on Sunday:

The Trump administration had threatened to more than double tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion in Chinese imports into the United States in the event the world’s largest two economies failed to reach an agreement to end their trade war.

Referring to Trump’s trade war comments, the Guardian reported on Sunday:

His remarks sent shares in Asia to their highest point for five months on Monday as optimism mounted about an agreement. The Shanghai market saw the most notable gains, surging 3.5% to heights not seen since last June and taking this year’s gains to more than 20%. The Nikkei in Tokyo was 0.5% higher while the Kospi in Seoul rose 0.45%. The Australian dollar, a proxy for Chinese trade, also climbed on the news.

Financial Times (FT) added on Monday:

The announcement on Twitter sent China’s CSI 300 index of companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen up by 5.9 percent on Monday, its best one-day gain in more than three years. The CSI 300 has advanced over 25 percent since early January, moving into a bull market by the definition of a 20 percent rally from a recent trough. The index has rebounded 16.5 percent in February alone, putting it on track for its best month since April 2015.

European stock markets rose after the Asia rally, although at a slower pace. Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax 30 gained 0.6 percent, with the region-wide Stoxx 600 up 0.2 percent.

In New York, the S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent in opening trade. The Wall Street benchmark closed at its highest level since November on Friday, while Germany’s Xetra Dax rose 1.4 per ent over the course of last week, on hopes of progress in the negotiations.

Echoing Trump’s comments, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency noted on Monday that Beijing and Washington “wrapped up the latest round of trade talks between the world’s top two economies with substantial progress on specific issues,” adding:

They focused their talks on the text of an agreement and achieved substantial progress on such specific issues as technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights, non-tariff barriers, service industry, agriculture, and exchange rates.

China and the United States “will continue their work for the next stage in accordance with the instructions of the two countries’ heads of state,” Xinhua noted.

The Guardian pointed out:

The delay in tariffs was the clearest sign yet of a breakthrough the two sides have sought since calling a 90-day truce in a trade war last year. It will likely be cheered by markets as a sign of an end to the year-long dispute that has disrupted commerce worth hundreds of billions of dollars of goods and slowed global economic growth.

“Markets are happy,” Cliff Tan, East Asian head of global markets research at MUFG, told FT. “We’re looking at a scenario where markets are thinking the trade war could be completely over in the first quarter, which gets us back to where we might have been at the end of 2017. Markets are acting like the conflict is almost solved.”


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