What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?

What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?

USA officials visited Beijing from Monday to Wednesday for the first sit-down talks since President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed on December 1 to a three-month truce in the escalating spat.

The Chinese responded by slapping tariffs of $110bn worth of U.S. goods. For sales going the other direction, the crunch was more immediate.

Although neither side offered details of the meeting, one US negotiator sounded a note of optimism to reporters after the talks broke up.

Negotiators from both the USA and China expressed optimism after mid-level talks wrapped in Beijing this week, boosting sentiment across global markets.

McKinney's sentiment echoed that of President Donald Trump, who tweeted early Tuesday that the talks "are going very well!". But the shutdown may yet prevent Trump's appearance, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The council and other USA business groups have pressed for a resolution to the trade hostilities between the world's two biggest economies. "Uncertainty is bad for business". Investors were encouraged that talks planned for two days were extended to three.

Chinese officials have suggested Beijing might alter its industrial plans but reject pressure to abandon what they consider a path to prosperity and global influence.

Negotiations between the USA and China in Beijing this week on trade were "extensive, in-depth and detailed", and laid the foundation for the resolution of issues of mutual concern, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Thursday.

But they are a key step before both countries' top negotiators - US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He - can sit down to thrash out a deal.

That would not only squeeze corporate profitability at home, but also put pressure on global price gains, as export prices usually follow those at factory gate.

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Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports.

So far, the US side has described the exchanges in a positive light.

"China is determined to bring the trade war to an end", The Economist has reported.

The Trump administration is pushing for a way to make sure China delivers on its commitments in any deal. "Instead of making honest efforts to solve its domestic problems, it resorts to unilateralism and protectionism, breaks the rules-based worldwide order, coercing allies to accept unfair treaties, triggering trade frictions with China, and blocking technology transfer while trying to contain China's rise".

The talks "enhanced mutual understanding, and established a foundation for solving, each other's concerns", said the statement, stressing that both sides agreed to maintain close communication, while providing few other details.

If talks continue to go well, a cabinet-level meeting is likely to happen before the end of the month.

In a statement Wednesday night, the USTR said the meetings were part of a push to achieve "needed structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture".

Even so, progress in talks signals that an interim deal that suspends new tariff hikes is possible, according to Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong.

The Trump administration also wants Beijing to buy more American goods to narrow a yawning trade gap and allow foreign players better access to the Chinese market. "Progress should include a mechanism for the removal of tariffs and measurable, commercially meaningful outcomes", the U.S.

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