Lack of Sino-U.S. trade progress dampens Asian markets
Chinese stocks underperformed leaving Asian markets mixed on Friday as a lack of concrete signs of progress on U.S.-China trade relations continued.
China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzen Component dropped 0.6% and 1.3% respectively by 10:50 PM ET (02:50 GMT).
Trade tensions intensified after the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills that backed protesters and Hong Kong, sending a warning to China regarding human rights. This angered Beijing and further complicated the ongoing trade talks between China and the U.S.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had still invited top U.S. trade negotiators, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for a new round of face-to-face talks in Beijing.
The Journal’s report said that officials in the U.S. were willing to meet with their Chinese counterparts.
“China is willing, on the basis of equal and mutual respect with the U.S., to work together to properly settle areas of common concern and strive for a phase-one trade agreement,” Gao Feng, China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman, said at a regular press conference Thursday.
“I think the phase one agreement is important. One, because it would put a trade truce between China and the United States. Two, it’d build a little confidence and certainty in the trading system,” Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told CNBC in an interview.
“It is a step in the right direction if the deal can get done,” Brilliant said.