U.S. Treasury chief Mnuchin says optimistic about U.S.-UK trade deal

© Reuters. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at Chatham House in London © Reuters. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at Chatham House in London

By Elizabeth Howcroft and William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he was optimistic the United States and Britain, soon to be out of the European Union, would strike a trade deal this year and that he had discussed it with Britain’s finance minister on Saturday.

U.S. President Donald Trump is keen for progress on trade talks before November’s presidential election, while in Britain the prospect of a deal has been touted by Brexit supporters as a way to offset the impact of leaving the EU and to exert leverage over the bloc in trade talks between London and Brussels.

“I’m quite optimistic. I think the prime minister and the president have a very good relationship,” Mnuchin told an audience at the Chatham House think tank in London.

Mnuchin said he had a breakfast meeting with his British counterpart minister Sajid Javid on Saturday, having also spoken to him this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“We’re focused on trying to get this done this year because we think it’s important to both of us,” he said.

After the United States recently concluded the initial phase of a trade agreement with China, deals with Britain and the European Union were now the priority, Mnuchin said.

While Mnuchin conceded that Britain may need to finalize some issues with the EU before it could discuss them with Washington, he didn’t see this leading to a delay.

“I think a lot of the issues can be dealt with simultaneously and again we look forward to continuing a great trade relationship, and, if anything, I think there will be significantly more trade between the U.S. and the UK,” he said.

Asked by a reporter if Britain’s plan to implement a digital services tax on U.S. technology giants such as Facebook (O:) and Google (O:) could hinder the trade negotiations, Mnuchin said that he discussed the issue on Saturday with Javid.

Washington is threatening to put tariffs on products from the EU’s member states if they follow through with a plan to introduce a new tax on U.S. tech giants.

“The U.S. feels very strongly that any tax that is designed specifically on digital companies is a discriminatory tax and is not appropriate,” Mnuchin said.

Britain has said it intends to implement the tax, while France has put off its plans to wait for broader negotiations within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Mnuchin said he wanted to narrow the U.S. trade deficit with the EU but that differences between the bloc’s member states would complicate negotiations.

“When we talk about the EU, one of the challenges is some of these issues are really only a couple of countries, but I think, as you know, because of the EU we can’t negotiate these things on a bilateral basis,” he said.

“One of the challenges of dealing with the EU is even within the EU they have different views,” he added.

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RSL reaches deal with Baird through 2023 season

RSL reaches deal with Baird through 2023 season RSL reaches deal with Baird through 2023 season

Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird agreed to a deal through the 2023 season, the club announced Friday.

The 23-year-old Baird has 13 goals and nine assists in 62 matches (44 starts) in his two seasons. He was MLS Rookie of the Year in 2018 when he had eight goals and five assists in 31 games.

Last season, he recorded five goals and four assists in 31 matches.

“Corey’s versatility in the attack and work rate make him an important piece to our roster, so keeping him here long-term was on our to-do list over the offseason,” Real Salt Lake general manager Elliot Fall said in a news release. “We take pride in the work our staff has done in aiding his development and we are eager to see where his continued development can take him.”

Baird has rapidly rose through the national team ranks as well as he made four appearances for the United States in 2019.

The former Stanford star is pleased to have some security with RSL.

“I’m happy to sign with Real Salt Lake long-term,” Baird said in the news release. “Knowing the club has put this trust in me and showing they value me as a player feels really good and I’m hoping I can repay them for their trust and the fans for their support.”

Financial terms weren’t released but Baird figures to have received a sharp increase from the $ 70,000 in base salary he made last season, the dollar figure according to the MLS Players Association salary database.

–Field Level Media OLUSSPORT Reuters US Online Report Sports News 20200124T233038+0000

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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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Forex – U.S. Dollar, CNY steady after trade deal

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

By Cornelia Zou

Investing.com – The dollar and the remained steady a day after China and the U.S. signed a phase one trade deal aimed at easing tensions between the two largest economies in the world.

The signing of the deal on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the U.S. helped equities markets and lent some stability to currencies.

The that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was slightly lower, down 0.02% to 97.30 by 8:30 PM ET (01:30 GMT). The index has remained strong after falling at the beginning of the year.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the reference rate for the yuan at 6.8878 on Friday, compared to 6.8807 on Thursday. The pair was essentially flat, down 0.01% to 6.8759 on Friday morning.

China’s economy grew 6.1% through 2019, the lowest rate of growth since 1990, according to numbers released by the National Bureau of Statistics Friday morning. The growth rate is lower than market expectations of 6.2% but within the 6% to 6.5% the central government set in early 2019.

Growth in the fourth quarter was 6%, unchanged from the previous quarter.

The Friday data follows the release of monthly export and import numbers earlier in the week that showed exports rising in December for the first time in five months and import growth beating estimates. Exports from China rose 7.6% year on year in December while imports jumped 16.3%, the largest monthly jump in more than a year.

The yen continued to weaken against the greenback. The pair was up 0.04% to 110.19.

The pair was down 0.17% and the pair lost 0.08%.

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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Trump threatened Europe with auto tariffs if they didn’t warn Iran on nuclear deal violations

Europe caved

The Washington Post reports that the White House threatened Europe with 25% auto tariffs if they didn’t fall into line with the US policy on Iran. Days later, the EU caved.

That’s not going to earn the EU any points as an honest broker with Iran. It also highlights how far the US will go to squeeze Iran. It’s also a reminder that the US-Iran battle is far from over.

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U.S. to Lift Yuan Manipulator Tag Ahead of China Trade Deal

© Reuters.  U.S. to Lift Yuan Manipulator Tag Ahead of China Trade Deal © Reuters. U.S. to Lift Yuan Manipulator Tag Ahead of China Trade Deal

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump’s administration plans to lift its designation of China as a currency manipulator, people familiar with the matter said, removing an obstacle to a trade deal the two nations are set to sign this week.

The Treasury Department will make the move in a semi-annual report, expected to be released soon, after being delayed as the U.S. and China finalize a “phase one” trade pact, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in August first formally labeled China a currency-manipulator, a move that further escalated the trade war with Beijing after the country’s central bank allowed the yuan to fall in retaliation to new U.S. tariffs.

A Treasury Department spokeswoman declined to comment. A reporter for Fox Business Network earlier tweeted the news about Treasury’s plans.

Now that a deal is in sight, the designation is being lifted. The administration had at one point considered maintaining the label and instead announcing it would monitor the yuan with the possibility of lifting the designation in August of this year, according to the people.

The offshore strengthened to 6.883 per dollar on Monday.

Mnuchin’s August 2019 announcement prompted authorities in Beijing to increase transparency around how they manage the yuan. Some of that data has provided support for the Treasury’s view that the People’s Bank of China engages in competitive devaluations of its currency, the people said.

But economists have criticized the U.S. decision to call China a manipulator. The International Monetary Fund said in September the yuan is fairly valued and that there’s no evidence of manipulation. China’s weakening currency could also be attributed to a slowdown in growth.

China also doesn’t meet the criteria outlined in a 2015 U.S. law for formally designating a country a currency-manipulator. Mnuchin instead relied on a 1988 trade law that has a looser definition of currency manipulation to justify the claim. He did so after the yuan broke the 7 per dollar level for the first time since 2008, drawing Trump’s ire. Mnuchin had resisted using the label in the previous five reports he released.

The August announcement was made in a press release, outside the normal issuance of the report. That left currency strategists and policy experts without a full explanation for the decision. Treasury’s currency report examines 20 countries for possible currency manipulation, a number that was increased from 12 in May.

Trump was involved in drafting the press release, which on his direction refers to China as a “Currency Manipulator,” using capital letters, one of the people said.

When Treasury officials briefed congressional committees in August on their decision, they read quotes by Chinese leadership officials stating that they had all the necessary tools to prop up the yuan. According to the Treasury officials, those statements prove intent and serve as evidence that the country was manipulating its currency, two people familiar with the briefings said.

Mnuchin in October said that if a trade deal with China were signed, he would consider removing the manipulator tag, saying that signing an agreement would be “a big step in the right direction.”

(Updates with market move in sixth paragraph.)

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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Forex – U.S. Dollar Flat Ahead of Inflation Data, Trade Deal Signing in Focus

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar was flat on Monday in Asia ahead of the release of the latest inflation data. The potential signing of the phase one trade deal later this week is also in focus.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies last traded at 97.078 by 11:35 PM ET (03:35 GMT), unchanged from yesterday’s close.

The latest U.S. inflation figures, due on Tuesday, are expected to remain broadly in line with the 2% inflation target, while retail sales numbers from the holiday season will also be closely watched.

A number of Federal Reserve officials will also speak this week. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Atlanta Fed head Raphael Bostic will both discuss the economic outlook in appearances on Monday. Kansas City Fed President Esther George is due to deliver remarks on Tuesday, while Patrick Harker of the Philadelphia Fed and Robert Kaplan of the Dallas Fed are both due to make appearances on Wednesday.

The pair dropped 0.2% to 1.3036. Figures on fourth-quarter growth, trade, industrial output, retail sales and inflation all due to be released this week. The data will be closely watched after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney last week promised a “relatively prompt response” if economic weakness persists.

On the Brexit front, the U.K. is due to leave the EU on Jan. 31. It is uncertain whether 11 months will be enough to reach a deal. EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has earlier warned that a comprehensive U.K.-EU trade deal is “impossible” by the 2020 deadline.

“We will go as far as we can, but the truth is that our partnership cannot and will not be the same as before and it cannot and will not be as close as before because with every choice comes a consequences with every decision comes a trade off,” she said earlier this month.

The pair and the pair both rose 0.2%.

The safe-haven yen retreated as Asian equities traded higher today. The pair slid 0.2% to 109.62.

The pair lost 0.2% to 6.9004. China’s GDP data is due later this week.

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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Forex – USD stays strong ahead of signing of trade deal

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar remained strong on Friday and was set to end the week on a high note just days before the signing of a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China.

The was flat at 97.45 by 9:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT).

The pair was down 0.02% to 0.6855 and the was down 0.11% to 0.6607. The Australian dollar was helped on Friday by strong retail sales data. Australia’s statistics agency said retail sales jumped 0.9% in November, more than double the expected 0.4% increase.

The pair was up 0.02% to 109.53.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the reference rate of the yuan at 6.9351, stronger than the 6.9497 fix set on Thursday. The yuan has been strengthening over the past few weeks.

On Thursday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that consumer prices rose 4.5% in December from a year earlier while producer prices fell 0.5%.

Meanwhile, markets continue to look forward to the signing of a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China next week.

The was down 0.01% to 1.3064 after the passage of Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill, which sets the stage for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union by January 31.

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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Forex: Dollar Inches Higher as Focus Shifts to U.S-China Trade Deal

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Invesing.com – The U.S. dollar inched higher Thursday, on improved risk sentiment amid optimism that the U.S-China trade war may be nearing an end and easing tensions in the Middle East.

The , which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.17% to 96.17.

China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday that Vice Premier Liu He is set to sign the phase one trade deal in Washington next week, stoking hopes that the partial deal will eventually pave a path for both nations to end their months-long trade war.

As well as positive trade news, de-escalating tensions in the Middle East kept safe-haven currencies on the back foot, underpinning the move higher in the greenback.

rose 0.34% to Y109.47.

The pound, meanwhile, continued to wobble after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney suggested the central bank was mulling near-term stimulus as its economic forecasts may have been somewhat lofty.

“The takeaway is that the Monetary Policy Committee could be more inclined to ease policy further,” Rabobank’s Jane Foley said. “These policy risks are likely to be accentuated if political uncertainty builds again in the U.K.”

fell 0.32% to $ 1.306 and drew little reaction on news that U.K. lawmakers backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal agreed with the EU last year.

The outcome of the vote was largely expected, however, following the ruling Conservative party’s commanding win in the general election last month.

The was roughly flat at $ 1.111 even as topped economists’ forecasts.

rose 0.35% to C$ 1.308, as weaker Canada housing data did little to ease investor jitters that the recent downtick in economic growth would persist.

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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Pres. Trump: I’ll be signing trade deal with China on January 15

Pres. Trump tweets about phase 1 China trade deal signing date

Pres. Trump is tweeting that he will be signing the Phase 1 trade deal with China on January 15. The sign it will take place at the White House which is a “win” for the president (although China’s Xi is not attending). In return, the Pres. will be going to Beijing at a later date to begin phase 2 talks

Pres. Trump tweets about phase 1 China trade deal signing date_

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