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U.S. markets place hopes on restarting trade talks with China

(Xinhua)    14:18, June 21, 2019

WASHINGTON, June 20 (Xinhua) -- After stocks plummeted last month, U.S. markets are surging once again, on hopes of restarting trade talks with China.

May this year was one of the worst months of May for U.S. stocks in several years, with U.S. markets seeing wild swings amid the U.S.-initiated trade dispute with China.

But in a sudden about-face, stocks skyrocketed this week. The main rise came Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump held a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping saying looking forward to meeting at this month's G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

The news caused the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average to surge nearly 400 points. Stocks continued to rise on Wednesday, on signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it could cut interest rates later.

James M. Roberts, an economist at the Heritage Foundation, told Xinhua that the news about the two presidents' meeting next week is "certainly encouraging."

"It is not surprising that markets have reacted favorably," Roberts said. "Assuming that the meeting stays on track, markets should continue to view the upcoming G20 hopefully."

Desmond Lachman, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Xinhua that markets were buoyed Tuesday by Trump's announcement that talks with China would restart, as well as by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi's indication that he might soon respond to European economic weakening by restarting the ECB's bond buying program.

That gave the impetus for global bond yields to decline and stocks to rally, he said.

Experts said that markets would be pleased by an agreement by both sides to continue talking.

"Both President Trump and President Xi would benefit from a favorable outcome to their bilateral meeting and to the G20 overall," Roberts said.

Chief trade negotiators of China and the United States will communicate in line with the instructions made by the two heads of state, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

Negotiating teams from both sides will earnestly implement the instructions and make preparations for the meeting of the two heads of state during the G20 Summit in Osaka, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a news conference.

"We believe both sides can find ways to properly solve their problems through equitable dialogue and accommodating each other's legitimate concerns," he said.

Beijing and Washington had been hammering out a trade deal, but the talks stalled last month after the Trump administration hiked tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars worth of Chinese goods and threatened to impose further tariffs on additional Chinese imports.

Lachman said U.S. markets would be kept moving if Trump took further U.S. import tariffs on China off the table at the G20 meeting.

"However, this seems most unlikely since very little preparatory work has been done in advance of the G20 meeting between the two leaders," Lachman said. "The most that I am expecting from this meeting is an agreement to continue talking and agreeing to a schedule for future meetings."

"If that proves to be the case, markets could be disappointed," he said.

Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Xinhua that if there is agreement to keep talking, "Wall Street should be happy."

"But I think Trump is more invested in the talks failing and helping with the 2020 elections, than in having to defend any agreement under Democrats' attacks," Paal said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Liang Jun)

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