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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UK to use high tariff threat to raise pressure in trade negotiations: The Times

(Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is mulling to use the threat of high tariffs to raise pressure on the European Union, the United States and other nations to strike trade deals with Britain, The Times newspaper reported on Saturday.

Johnson and his cabinet ministers discussed using tariffs as “leverage” in an effort to accelerate trade talks at a meeting this week which could result in taxes of 30% on some types of French cheese and 10% on German cars, the newspaper reported.

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, 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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Forex – Yuan Falls Amid Trade Uncertainties; PBOC Adds $58B Into Banking System

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

By Alex Ho

Investing.com – The Chinese yuan fell on Wednesday in Asia amid fresh trade uncertainties. While not a directional driver, the People’s Bank of China added $ 58 billion into the country’s banking system.

The pair lost 0.2% to 6.8943 by 12:01 AM ET (04:01 GMT).

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are likely to stay in place until after the American presidential election in November.

“These tariffs will stay in place until there’s a phase two. If the president gets a phase two quickly, he’ll consider releasing tariffs as part of phase two,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Tuesday. “If not, there won’t be any tariff relief. So it has nothing to do with the election or anything else. There’s no secret agreements.”

The Bloomberg report came just hours before the signing of the phase one trade deal, suggesting that tensions between China and the U.S. remained high.

Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement that it added 300 billion yuan ($ 44 billion) through the medium-term lending facility at 3.25%. It also injected 100 billion yuan via open market operations.

The that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was little changed at 97.080.

In other news, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in a speech on Wednesday that the central bank would not hesitate to ease further in order to achieve its 2% inflation target.

The slipped 0.1% to 109.88.

The pair and the pair were both near flat.

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 Pares Gains on Fears U.S.-China Trade Fight Not Over

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By Yasin Ebrahim

Invesing.com – The U.S. dollar was flat Tuesday, as sentiment on risk was hurt slightly on a report that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will remain in place through the 2020 election despite both sides expected to wrap up the phase one trade deal on Wednesday.

The , which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.01% 97.34.

Gains in the greenback were also kept in check by tamer U.S. inflation data that strengthened expectations the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates lower for longer.

The Labor Department reported that its rose 0.2% last month, missing economists’ forecasts of 0.3%.

The sluggish pace of consumer price pressures has continued despite the lengthy U.S.-China trade war, with overall prices held back by declines in cars and household utilities, and only modest gains in housing, BMO said.

Given that some of the other inflationary indicators – particularly the core PCE – have remained sluggish somewhat, it will “take a more consistent, broad move upward to spark more interest from the Fed,” the bank added.

Citing expectations for subdued inflation to continue, Kansas Federal Reserve president Esther George suggested would be appropriate for the Fed to keep rates on hold.

The pound rebounded from lows, meanwhile, even as speculation mounts that the Bank of England will cut interest rates should U.K. economic growth remain sluggish.

rose 0.32% to $ 1.305, while the was roughly flat at $ 1.113

The purchasing managers’ surveys on Jan. 24 will serve as the first sign of how the U.K.’s economy performed following December’s general election, Swissquote Bank said.

rose 0.05% to Y109.99 as demand for the yen ticked up on the report that tariffs on China will remain in place.

fell 0.04% to C$ 1.30, as the loonie found its footing, underpinned by a rise in oil prices, which are set to snap a five-day losing streak.

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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China December trade data shows exports rise 9% y/y

December trade balance from China, these in ‘yuan terms’ 

Exports for the month +9.0% compared with +2.9% expected

  • For the year exports +5% y/y

Imports beat huge, +17.7% y/y, vs expected at +8.6%

  • for the Jan to Dec year imports +1.6% y/y

As part of the data release, shows trade between the US and China is down 10.7% y/y in 2019. 

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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

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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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