China offers to even out trade imbalance

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The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a tariff rollback during trade discussions scheduled for January 30.

In Europe, the trade-sensitive auto sector was the best performer Friday, rising 1.3% for the day and adding to gains of 7.6% this month. "Investors are still hopeful that the trade dispute can be resolved", said McKinnon.

The report said China would increase its annual import of US goods by a combined value of over $1 trillion. -China trade dispute, rising interest rates in the US, slowing growth in China and Europe, and unstable political situations like Brexit all made it seem like 2019 could be a disappointing year and some investors felt a recession was a possibility. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent and that for the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.5 percent.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 72.76 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 7,157.23. Business groups and economists were looking for Liu and his American counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to take part in talks as a sign lower-level negotiations earlier in Beijing made progress.

"Yesterday's [Wall Street Journal] headline concerning a possible rollback of [US President Donald] Trump tariffs was a setback for [the US dollar-Chinese yuan cross], and although it was subsequently denied, it had created confusion in the foreign exchange space", BMO Capital Markets European head of foreign exchange strategy Stephen Gallo said in London. Global stock markets rose but then fell back after the meeting produced no agreements.

Japan's Nikkei gained 1.2 percent to ¥20,661.00, marking a one-month high.

By increasing goods imports from the a combined value of more than US$1 trillion over that period, China would seek to reduce its trade surplus - which past year stood at US$323 billion - to zero by 2024, one of the people said.

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USA crude oil futures extended Thursday's gains, adding 0.8 per cent to $52.49 per barrel.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 11/32 in price to yield 2.786%, compared with 2.747% late on Thursday. CEO Elon Musk said the cuts are meant to reduce costs as the company lowers the price for its cars.

Asia Pacific markets generally traded higher, as CNBC reported. He said in a note to staff that the road ahead is "very hard".

European stocks rose to their highest since early December, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index up almost 1 per cent.

Developing world currencies were subdued against a recovering dollar with Turkey's lira and South Africa's rand falling the most.

Also helping to boost stocks on Thursday was a rebound in financial shares, which ended 0.5 percent higher after having dropped as much as 1 percent.