Thursday, 18 April, 2019

China defends its USA investment record

The Chinese flag and the US Stars and Stripes fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the US Capitol. Reuters  File The Chinese flag and the US Stars and Stripes fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the US Capitol. Reuters File
Priscilla Morrison | 26 June, 2018, 15:55

Last month, Mnuchin said a trade war with China was "on hold" after officials of the world's two largest economies held talks in Beijing that were focused on opening more sectors of China's economy and increasing purchases of American goods.

United States officials have said the WTO, the Geneva-based arbiter of world trade rules, is bureaucratic, rigid and slow to adapt to changes in global business and needs an overhaul.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday the U.S. Treasury is devising new policy that would prevent firms where Chinese ownership is at least 25 percent from purchasing "industrially significant technology". The S&P 500 dropped 1.4% to 2717.07.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost almost 500 points before reversing course to close down 328 points, or 1.3percent.

Plumb Funds CIO Thomas Plumb on the state of the markets.

Last Monday, President Donald Trump said he asked the United States trade representative to identify an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for a 10 per cent tariff.

Leaders of the European Union and China have agreed to join together to fight the protectionist tariffs implemented by President Donald Trump's administration.

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Economists at Deutsche Bank tallied the potential damage in a note released late last week. The financial hit from duties on US$250-billion worth of Chinese imports, US$50-billion of aluminum and steel imports and US$40-billion of European automobile imports could cost USA businesses and consumers an estimated US$50-billion - erasing some of the impact of recent USA tax cuts and eroding economic growth forecasts.

Investors aren't so sure.

After being relatively resilient in the trade war buildup - which has largely affected stocks of industrial exporters such as Boeing, Caterpillar, Harley Davidson and Alcoa - tech companies felt the lash of a selloff. Shares of General Electric, which will leave the Dow Jones industrial average on Tuesday, fell as much as 1.5% after the company said it would sell its distributed-power business. Amazon shares fell more than 3.5%, while shares of Google and Facebook fell 3.67% and 3.77%, respectively.

Volume on USA exchanges was 7.74 billion shares, compared to the 7.32 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

The U.S. Treasury is due to issue its recommendations on Chinese investment restrictions on Friday.

Strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch pointed out that a yield curve inversion (where 2-year bond yields are higher than 10-year bond yields) have preceded all seven of the past recessions, going back to 1970.

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