Markets rise on hopes of breakthrough in trade talks with China

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The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a tariff rollback at trade talks set for January 30.

On Friday, volume on USA exchanges was 7.99 billion shares, compared to the 8.44 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

"For the most part the (pound's) move higher appears to be more in hope than expectation, given the default position as it stands now remains that the UK leaves the European Union without a deal", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

The top US and Chinese trade envoys will hold talks in Washington this month in a possible sign of progress toward ending a costly tariff battle over Beijing's technology ambitions. There are reports that China will buy more imports from the USA over six years.

Major indices were up more than 1 percent, with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining 336.25 points, or 1.4 percent, to close the day at 24,706.35. The Americans' major sticking points were more prominent issues than China's import plans during the latest round of talks in Beijing, one of the people said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised the idea of revoking tariffs on some or all of the $250 billion in Chinese goods impacted, during discussions on the strategy for the current talks but the question has not yet reached the White House, according to The Journal.

Liu and USA officials will "hold negotiations on economic and trade issues and work together to push forward and implement the consensus" reached by Xi and Trump, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters.

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The Washington talks are aimed at carrying out the December 1 agreement by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to suspend further tariff increases for 90 days while they negotiate, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng.

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday ended unchanged against the USA dollar at NT$30.842, but slid 0.1 percent from NT$30.802 on January 11. However, the stock fell 1.6 percent on the back of disappointing guidance for the first quarter of 2019.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 12/32 in price to yield 2.7878 percent, compared with 2.747 percent late on Thursday. US crude was last up $1.62, or up 3.11 percent, at $53.69 per barrel. CEO Elon Musk said the cuts are meant to reduce costs as the company lowers the price for its cars.

Brent crude was last up $1.49, or up 2.44 percent, at $62.67 a barrel. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 72.76 points, or 1.03 percent, to 7,157.23.

Elsewhere in commodities, palladium was 1.5 per cent higher at $1,417.00 an ounce after rising to an all-time high of $1,434.50 overnight. They were all up more than 1 percent for the week entering Friday's session.

The dollar rose to 109.79 yen from 109.23 yen. The euro gained to $1.1393 from $1.1388.

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