China’s national health minister warns virus appears to be infectious during incubation and is getting stronger

“The virus’s ability to spread seems to be getting somewhat stronger”

"The virus's ability to spread seems to be getting somewhat stronger"

China’s National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei today said the incubation period for the virus can range from one to 14 days, and the virus is infectious during incubation, which was not the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

“According to recent clinical information, the virus’s ability to spread seems to be getting somewhat stronger,” Ma told a media briefing.

He warned that containment efforts will be intensified.

China has now announced that going forward there will be daily briefings at 9 am Beijing time. That’s 0100 GMT or 8 pm in New York.

The WHO repeated on Sunday that it has not yet declared the virus to be a global emergency.

Separately, researchers are debating on what to name the coronavirus. While it’s being simply labeled as ‘coronavirus’ colloquially, that’s a scientific term that’s used for a type of virus. The interim name is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in scientific communities. Many are pushing to name it Wuhan coronavirus but the WHO discourages including place names so they might call it SARS-2. Colloquially, I don’t think that name will work and I suspect that something like the ‘Wuhan flu’ will win out in the general public.

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China’s says 444 new confirmed cases of coronavirus

The number of deaths surge as well

The number of deaths surge as well

Wuhan city reports that another 15 people died on Friday, bringing the death toll to 41.

China also reported today that a relatively healthy young man was killed by the virus. That raises the risk that it might be more deadly that previously believed.

The sequence of confirmed cases:

  • Jan 17: 41
  • Jan 19: 62
  • Jan 20: 201
  • Jan 21: 291
  • Jan 22: 440
  • Jan 24: 830
  • Jan 25: 1287
UK virus researchers estimate 250,000 people in Wuhan will have coronavirus in 13 days.

There are a dozen or so confirmed cases outside the country, with many more under monitoring.

Australia has now also raised its travel alert for the province of Hubei to its highest level and warns ‘do not travel’ to the area.

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China’s commerce ministry says China welcomes competitive US products into China’s markets

IS there less to this trade deal than we suspect? Not an encouraging headline.

China commerce ministry official 

  • says China welcomes competitive US products to enter china’s markets
  • says China hopes US to create conditions to facilitate imports to china
  •  says China’s purchase of US. agricultural goods will not impact imports from other countries
  • says China will expand imports based on market conditions and in line with WTO rules

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China’s yuan gains after U.S. drops China FX manipulator label

By Yoruk Bahceli

LONDON (Reuters) – China’s yuan climbed to its highest level since July on Tuesday and the Japanese yen plumbed eight-month lows as the U.S. Treasury Department reversed its decision in August to designate China as a currency manipulator.

The Treasury Department’s new report on currency manipulators could help explain the reason for the Swiss franc surging to a 33-month high against the euro, some analysts said. [L8N29J36G] Washington included Switzerland on a watchlist, although other market participants said it had been expected and broader safe-haven flows were behind the franc’s move.

The announcement on the yuan came as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He arrived in Washington ahead of Wednesday’s signing with U.S. President Donald Trump of a preliminary trade agreement aimed at easing tensions between the two countries.

“Washington’s decision to lift its designation of currency manipulator on China has added to the positive mood that has been already in place ahead of the signing of the trade deal,” said Minori Uchida, chief currency strategist at MUFG Bank.

People familiar with the negotiations said its removal was an important symbol of goodwill for Chinese officials.

China has also pledged to buy almost $ 80 billion of additional manufactured goods from the United States over the next two years as part of a trade war truce, according to a Reuters source.

The dollar rose as much as 0.3% against the Japanese yen to 110.22 yen , its highest since late May versus a currency that tends to weaken when investors are buoyant. It last stood at 109.97 yen.

In onshore trade, the yuan strengthened to as high as 6.8731 per dollar , its strongest since late July. China’s central bank set the midpoint of the yuan’s daily trading band at 6.8954 per dollar on Tuesday, its strongest fixing since Aug. 1.

The also firmed to its strongest level in six months, hitting 6.8662 yuan before easing off .

Chinese forecast-beating trade data also helped to boost optimism about the economy and the yuan.

Despite the optimism, some analysts said there were signs of a bid for safety.

The Swiss franc rose to its strongest since April 2017 at 1.0763 against the euro (), up nearly 0.5%. It rose 0.4% versus the dollar .

Some analysts said this reflected nervousness, as risky emerging market currencies such as the South African rand and Turkish lira fared poorly.

“The interesting question is how long can this optimism last, how much further can it go. A lot surely has to be in the price,” said Jane Foley, senior FX strategist at Rabobank.

“If we were to get another rise in tensions between the U.S. and China and if we were to turn our attention to phase two (of the trade deal)… it’s very likely that we will see the renminbi falling again,” Rabobank’s Foley said, adding that the currency might face a low at the 7.18 level hit in September.

In Europe, sterling weakened further on Tuesday, hitting a seven-week low against the euro at 85.95 pence before recovering. ()

The currency has come under pressure from weak data releases, raising the chances of a cut to interest rates by the Bank of England. Money markets forecast an almost 50% probability of a cut at a meeting on Jan. 30.

The euro was mildly supported by risk-on sentiment, remaining off a two-week low of $ 1.10855 () hit on Friday, last trading at $ 1.1124.

The gained 0.1% to 97.43 ().

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China’s RRR still relatively high by global standards, can be adjusted further: PBOC official

China's RRR still relatively high by global standards, can be adjusted further: PBOC official China’s RRR still relatively high by global standards, can be adjusted further: PBOC official

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – The proportion of money that Chinese banks must set aside as reserves is still relatively high by global standards, and can be adjusted in future to help provide long-term, stable liquidity to the economy, a senior central banker said.

China on Wednesday announced it will cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) from Jan. 6 to spur more lending and lower financing costs. It has cut the ratio eight times since early 2018 as it looks to avert a sharper economic slowdown, but growth has still cooled to a near 30-year low.

“From an international perspective, China’s current required reserve ratio (RRR) is still relatively high and has relatively big room to adjust,” Ruan Jianhong, head of the Statistics and Analysis Department at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said in an article.

The article was first published in the December edition of China Bond, and released via the magazine’s official Wechat account late on Thursday.

Along with other monetary policy tools, RRR adjustments “can provide long-term, stable liquidity to the real economy,” she said.

The 50 basis point cut announced on New Year’s Day released around 800 billion yuan ($ 114.91 billion) in funds. It brought the ratio for big banks down to 12.5%, compared with 17% at the start of 2018.

RRRs for China’s commercial banks range between 7.5%-13%. Most deposits in the United States are subject to RRR of 0%or 3%, while the European Central Bank imposes RRRs of 0%-1%, according to the article.

While rolling out a series of growth boosting measures in the last two years, China’s policymakers have pledged they will not embark on massive stimulus schemes like those launched in past downturns, which left a mountain of debt that is still weighing on the financial system.

Echoing that cautious tone, Ruan said that the RRR adjustments don’t represent changes in China’s monetary policy stance, and are aimed at reducing the cost of funding and improving overall liquidity, as the size of China’s monetary base shrank in 2019.

“In recent years, PBOC has been reducing RRRs successively. But this doesn’t mean PBOC is shifting toward a looser monetary policy. Rather, the moves are aimed at supplementing liquidity to the overall economy in an efficient, low-cost manner,” according to the article.

To improve liquidity, RRR adjustments are a more appropriate option than expanding PBOC’s balance sheet, because PBOC, with about $ 5.42 trillion of assets at the end of 2018, is already the world’s biggest central bank by assets, she said.

Further expanding its balance sheet would hurt credibility of China’s monetary policies, the article said.

(This story corrects reference to “she said” in paragraphs 5 and 11.)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Asian shares rise on China’s policy easing, trade deal hopes

© Reuters. Passersby are reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo © Reuters. Passersby are reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian shares kicked off the new decade higher on Thursday, after global stocks ended the previous one at record highs, and buoyed by Chinese markets after Beijing eased monetary policy to support slowing growth.

Investors also cheered news that the United States and China will sign a trade pact soon after a year of volatile negotiations between the world’s two largest economies.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan () was up 0.35% in morning trade after rising 5.6% in December.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Phase 1 of trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15 at the White House, though uncertainty surrounds details about the agreement.

Rising hopes for a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war helped propel global equities to record highs late last year and depress the value of the U.S. dollar.

MSCI’s all-country world index () of stock performance in 49 nations touched an all-time high of 567.80 on Dec. 27. It was last quoted at 565.46, off 0.41% from that peak.

In China, the blue-chip CSI300 index (), one of the world’s best-performing indexes last year, was 1.34% higher in early trade.

China’s central bank on Wednesday that it would cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, releasing around 800 billion yuan in funds effective Jan. 6.

“I think the monetary angle in terms of what it means for the companies, is not that important,” said Jim McCafferty, head of Asia ex-Japan equity research at Nomura in Hong Kong.

“However for what it means for the consumer point of view, then clearly if there’s easy money and … individuals can borrow cheaply, repay debt quickly, then that of course is going to help the economy and the companies.”

McCafferty said he expects a memory up-cycle and new handset development prompted by the rollout of 5G mobile technology could help to lift tech-heavy markets like Korea and Taiwan this year.

Australian shares () flicked between small gains and losses, and were last up 0.2%. Seoul’s Kospi () began the year down 0.85%, while shares in Taiwan () added 0.51%.

Markets in Japan are closed for a national holiday.

The gains in Asia follow a bullish end to the year on Wall Street on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average () rose 0.27% to 28,538.44 and the S&P 500 () gained 0.29% to 3,230.78. The Nasdaq Composite () added 0.3% to 8,972.60.

In currency markets on Thursday, the dollar continued to weaken slightly against major peers as investors bet on a better outlook for global growth and trade.

The dollar was 0.06% weaker against the yen at 108.64 while the euro () gained 0.11% to 1.1222.

The (), which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rivals, was little changed, rising 0.04% to 96.427.

U.S. crude () was up 0.36% to $ 61.28 and global benchmark Brent crude () rose to $ 66.24 per barrel, building on a rise that gave oil its biggest annual gain in three years in 2019.

Gold, which has benefited from a weaker greenback, was up 0.18% on the spot market, fetching $ 1,519.64 per ounce. [GOL/]

Graphic: Asian stock markets https://product.datastream.com/dscharting/gateway.aspx?guid=516bc8cb-b44e-4346-bce3-06590d8e396b&action=REFRESH

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China’s Li Vows More Funding with Targeted Reserve-Ratio Cuts

(Bloomberg) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the government will continue to lower the amount of money banks put aside as reserves to reduce overall borrowing costs for small firms, according to China Central Television.

Li said the government will continue to cut the reserve ratio for banks and look into measures including increasing quotas for relending and rediscounting to reduce overall borrowing costs for small firms and increase the amount of cheap funding to commercial lenders. He made the remarks during a visit to local commercial lenders in Chengdu on Monday.

The comments are in line with market expectations that the People’s Bank of China will increase funding to the financial system in January to ease a possible liquidity crunch caused by rising local government debt sales and increasing cash demand during the Spring Festival holidays. Previously, the premier’s pledges on reserve-ratio cuts have preceded the PBOC’s actions by a couple of weeks.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Dong Lyu in Beijing at dlyu3@bloomberg.net;Yinan Zhao in Beijing at yzhao300@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Charlie Zhu at qzhu46@bloomberg.net, Allen Wan

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Weekend – Trump says had a ‘good talk’ with China’s Xi. China says US interfering

US President Trump tweeted 

US President Trump tweeted 

Which fits with his comments to media also over the weekend:

China, however, after the tweet said on the call Chinese President Xi Jinping accused the United States of interfering in its internal affairs, but did express hope that lines of communication between the two would be kept open.  

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China’s Global Times warns of downtrend in US-China trade – difficult to reverse

China’s Global Times warns of downtrend in US-China trade – difficult to reverse

The Global Times is forthright with its views, a good window into China sentiment 

Latest piece:

  • It has been 18 months since the US began imposing 25 percent tariffs on the first tranche of Chinese goods, and bilateral trade between the world’s two largest economies is still sliding. 
  • Even with a “phase one” trade deal, the downtrend in bilateral trade will be difficult to reverse. 
  • Meanwhile, China’s total trade actually expanded 2.4 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months, indicating that trade with the US is not irreplaceable for China. 

Bolding mine.

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Amazon opens pop-up store on China’s Pinduoduo until year-end

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves

By Brenda Goh

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (O:) on Monday said it will open a pop-up store on Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc (O:) that will run until the end of December and carry a selection of about 1,000 products from overseas.

The move, which was initially reported by Reuters on Sunday, points to how the U.S. firm’s China strategy is evolving after it decided earlier this year to stop operating a marketplace in the country for domestic-selling merchants.

In April, it said it would instead increase its focus on selling goods from abroad to Chinese buyers and on its other businesses in the country like cloud services.

Amazon had found it difficult to compete with entrenched, home-grown players such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (N:) Tmall and its rival marketplace from JD.com Inc (O:). In a sign of Tmall’s dominance, Amazon opened an online store on the platform in 2015.

Its decision to open a store on Pinduoduo, however, points to how the four-year-old startup has disrupted Alibaba and JD.com’s dominance of China’s e-commerce market through its popularity with China’s rural residents.

Competition between the three firms have heated up in recent months and Pinduoduo, which woos customers with deep discounts and group-buying deals, suffered an $ 11 billion slump in value last week after it posted a much wider-than-expected quarterly loss that stemmed from efforts to fight rivals with heavy subsidies.

“The Amazon Global Store pop-up store on Pinduoduo provides customers with a curated selection of about 1,000 overseas products with competitive prices, authenticity guarantee and convenient shipping,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement.

“We look forward to enabling customers to enjoy cross-border shopping through this store, in addition to more deals and tens of millions of products available on z.cn,” she said, referring to the website Amazon.cn.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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