Markets cheer optimism over US-China trade deal

The year-long tit-for-tat trade war has imposed punishing tariffs totaling many billions of dollars on a large portion of the trade between China and the United States.
The year-long tit-for-tat trade war has imposed punishing tariffs totaling many billions of dollars on a large portion of the trade between China and the United States.PHOTO: AFP

Stock markets around the world rose yesterday to cheer renewed hopes that the United States and China will reach a trade agree-ment soon.

The world's two biggest economies have been imposing tit-for-tat tariffs for months on bill-ions of dollars worth of each other's goods.

This has roiled financial markets and disrupted the supply chains of manufacturers.

The optimism was helped by a report in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping might seal a formal trade deal around March 27 amid progress in the talks.

Still, questions remain on whether all the tariffs will be removed instantly, or dialled back gradually.

"History shows cooperation is the best choice for the world's two largest economies," Mr Zhang Yesui, a former Chinese ambassador to Washington and now spokesman for China's Parliament, told a news briefing.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2019, with the headline 'Markets cheer optimism over US-China trade deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe