US officials head to Beijing to resume trade talks as deadline for tariff war looms

 
Alex Daniel
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Donald Trump confirmed last week he would not meet President Xi Jinping before the 1 March deadline for trade tariffs restarting (Source: Getty)

Asian markets finished with mixed results this morning while the FTSE 100 had an early rise, as investors looked forward to the reopening of trade talks between the US and China this week.


A delegation of US officials, including Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin, head to Beijing today for the next round of negotiations, but investors’ optimism has been curbed after President Donald Trump confirmed he had no plan to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping before the deadline for restarting tariffs on 1 March.

Read more: The trade war in your head? A look behind the US-China feud

Despite time running out to strike a trade deal, the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng were both upbeat, finishing up 1.36 per cent and 0.71 per cent respectively.

But traders in Tokyo did not share their mood, with the Topix index falling 1.89 per cent.


Hussein Sayed, analyst at FXTM, said: “Markets are anticipating some good news. This is reflected in Chinese equities which advanced today after a week-long national holiday. “However, investors need to manage their expectations especially with conflicting messages from President Trump.”

Reports on Friday suggested the two countries have not yet drawn up a list of matters on which they agree or disagree.

The FTSE 100 started the day up 0.8 per cent, with both oil and mining stocks heading upwards despite dips from Brent Crude and copper.

The pound, however, was subdued at the start of the session, slipping 0.1 per cent against the dollar to $1.2913 while remaining unchanged against the euro at €1.1419.

Read more: Don’t let healthy scepticism about China become paranoia

With the prospect of renewed trade tariffs fast approaching on Chinese imports to the US after a 90-day truce was agreed before Christmas, investors will be watching closely.

Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at ADSS, said: “At this stage, investors care most about of the US-China trade talks and they will take their cue from any signs of progress - or lack thereof.”