Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Oil rises 2 pct on US-China trade talk optimism

Oil rises 2 pct on US-China trade talk optimism

Chinese and American officials began talks Monday aimed at ending a bruising trade battle between the world's two biggest economies as Beijing complained over the sighting of a USA warship in what it said are Chinese waters.

Hundreds of billions in levies.

While the talks were mostly between mid-level officials, a photograph leaked on Monday showed they were also attended by China's Vice-Premier Liu He, the chief trade negotiator for the Chinese side.

These include more Chinese purchases of U.S. goods and services to reduce a yawning trade gap, increased access to China's markets, stronger protection of intellectual property and a reduction in Beijing's subsidies.

Chinese officials have suggested Beijing might alter its industrial plans but reject pressure to abandon what they consider a path to prosperity and global influence.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that China's economy was more vulnerable to the fallout from the trade war.

"If it is immediately after these talks, it really means that something executable is going to happen; if it is next month or so, then you have a feeling that things are not really that executable for the moment".

Should China reform its regulation policies to allow more USA access to its markets, US negotiators want guarantees that they won't erase newfound openness by using government authority to block American companies.

US and Chinese officials also discussed issues related to intellectual property protections and the need for any agreement that resolves the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies "to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement", USTR said.

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The foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said the talks wrapped up Wednesday.

Officials have given scant details on concessions that China might be willing to make to meet USA demands, some of which would require structural reforms unpalatable for Chinese leaders. It has said China's companies are treated unfairly in US national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

USA companies also want action on Chinese policies they complain improperly favor local companies.

Stock markets were roiled last week after Apple (APPL) warned it will badly miss its quarterly sales forecast because of weaker growth in China amid the trade war.

"The positive news around the trade talks is giving a boost to risk assets - it's what the global economy needs to see", said Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa Capital Markets in London. "Beijing wants to show this is supported at the very highest level". Kim's train left Beijing on Wednesday around the same time the U.S. trade negotiators headed for the airport.

"The view, once commonly heard in Beijing, that it could outlast America in a grinding tariff battle has given way to the realisation that, as the country with the huge trade surplus, China has more to lose upfront". While another 33 percent are already planning to shift production out of China in the next six months to a year, reports China Economic Review.

China's foreign ministry confirmed the negotiations had ended in Beijing but declined to comment on the outcome, saying details would be released later. The U.S. delegation - which is being led by Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish - is requesting China be specific on what U.S. products it will buy and on what specific dates.

The White House is making sure this go-around is different.

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