Trump praises China's Xi's trade speech, easing tariff tensions

MONEY & MARKETS: China's President Xi moved to ease concerns about global trade — and financial markets love it

US stocks rally as Xi Jinping olive branch to White House eases trade tensions

Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) waiting to be exported are seen at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China April 5, 2018. The fresh sign of detente could further soothe fears that the tit-for-tat exchange of threats of new punitive tariffs on agricultural and manufactured goods could boil over into an all-out trade war, damaging the global economy.

Liu He, a vice premier overseeing economics and finance, told a group of officials Thursday that Beijing had rejected a USA request to stop subsidizing industries related to its "Made in China 2025" initiative, the person said.

China runs multibillion-dollar monthly surpluses with Europe and the USA, which helps to offset deficits with Japan, South Korea and developing countries that supply industrial components and raw materials.

In a key speech outlining his vision at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) at the Chinese city of Boao, Xi said the BRI may be China's idea, but its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world.

A senior White House trade adviser on Tuesday said the moving in a "measured" way through the process of evaluating whether to follow through with the tariffs on Chinese products.

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He tweeted on Monday that "when a auto is sent to the United States from China, there is a tariff to be paid of 2-and-a-half percent and when a vehicle is sent to China from the USA, the tariff is 25 percent". The contract rose 0.4 percent on Thursday to settle $67.07 a barrel.

That helped narrow its surplus with the March alone to $15.43 billion from $20.96 billion in February, but that was still almost 18 percent higher than March 2017.

If negotiations fail, Perdue said he would deploy funds authorized by the recently passed $1.3 billion spending bill to mitigate pain to American farmers caused by a trade dispute, but he did not specify which programs would be used.

While much of his pledges were reiterations of previously announced reforms that foreign businesses say are long overdue, Xi's comments sent stock markets and the US dollar higher on hopes of a compromise that could avert a trade war.

For the United States, however, it will be hard to find an alternative buyer like China for its soybeans.

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March shipments fell 2.7 percent, however, lagging analysts' forecasts for a 10.0 percent increase, and down from a sharper-than-expected 44.5 percent jump in February, which economists believe was heavily distorted by seasonal factors.

Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent to 21,771.69. Shipments of copper, crude oil, iron ore and soybeans all rose from the previous month. "China will not carry out any negotiation under one-sided coercion".

But the sudden spike in trade tensions with the United States is clouding the outlook for both China's "old economy" heavy industries and "new economy" tech firms alike.

A joint report by the Rhodium Group and the National Committee on US-China Relations showed that Chinese investment in the US fell from $46.5 billion in 2016 to $29.7 billion previous year.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised the "kind words" from Chinese leader Xi Jinping and pledged "great progress" in the looming trade dispute between the world's largest economies.

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