China eager to defuse trade pressures

A mock opium-destroying ceremony commemorating the acts of Qing dynasty in 1839

Two U.S. major auto trade groups on Wednesday warned the administration that imposing tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported vehicles would cost hundreds of thousands of auto jobs, dramatically hike prices on vehicles, and threaten industry spending on self-driving cars.

China and the European Union (EU) agreed on Monday to launch a group that will work to update global trade rules to address technology policy, subsidies and other emerging irritants and preserve support for worldwide trade amid U.S. threats of import controls.

Four days after the European Union imposed tariffs on American motorcycles, bourbon, orange juice and other products in response to US steel and aluminum tariffs, Lighthizer said there was no legal basis for the European Union response.

Dealers are struggling to get a handle on the situation owing to confusion over Donald Trump's trade strategy.

"People have long thought the USA economy will eventually hit a recession at some point".

"After a lot of sabre-rattling, we are seeing Shanghai suffering a lot more than Wall Street, so clearly the first round (of trade war) has been won by America".

Chinese 10-year treasury futures for September delivery, the most traded contract, were 0.18 percent higher on Thursday.

Historically, the USA economy has tended to enter a recession after the spread had shrunk below zero percent, inverting the yield curve.

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"Oil trading near $80 is going to put pressure on inflation around the world which means central bank policy may have to tighten quicker than expected", Lowman added.

US crude stocks fell almost 10 million barrels last week while the fall in Canadian exports helped drain supplies of heavy crude across North America. But the rally fizzled in Asian trading, driving MSCI's ex-Japan Asian equity index nearly one percent lower to a fresh two-year low.

On the other hand, copper, seen as a barometer of the strength of global economy because of its wide industrial use, hit a three-month low of US$6,692.5 a tonne.

A government think-tank report that appeared briefly online said that China should be wary of any financial panic stemming from uncertainties, such as bond defaults, tight liquidity and trade frictions with the United States.

Losses were led by China, where Shenzen-listed blue chips sank 2.2 percent to stand a whisker above 13-month lows.

The euro was hit by concerns about political uncertainty in Germany although Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partner said it was not seeking to break up the government.

The yuan too slipped to a fresh six-month low against the dollar, as the central bank allowed the biggest one-day weakening in the currency in percentage terms since January 2017.

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