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13 Dec, 2019 13:54

Stock markets surge on reports of US-China deal to pause trade war

Stock markets surge on reports of US-China deal to pause trade war

A phase one trade deal with China has been reached, in principle, by the Trump administration, sources have told CNBC. It will roll back existing US tariff hikes on Chinese goods and cancel new levies.

Reports on the agreement follow US President Donald Trump’s Thursday meeting with top advisors about trade with China and whether to delay the next round of US tariffs.

Washington was expected to impose 15 percent duties on $160 billion of Chinese consumer products such as smartphones, laptops, other electronics and clothes. The levies were set to take effect on Sunday.

The White House has offered to scrap those duties and slash some existing tariffs in half, sources suggest. Washington proposed cutting existing duties on $360 billion in Chinese products by 50 percent, they said.

Also on rt.com 'Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China' – Trump

China stayed silent on whether the two sides had reached a deal, with the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying on Friday that an “agreement has to be mutually beneficial.”

Trump tweeted on Thursday that the US has moved close to a trade deal with Beijing. “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!” he wrote.

Asian stock markets rallied on Friday following the reports and in reaction to US market gains.The Hang Seng and Nikkei both gained 2.6 percent, while the Shanghai Composite was up 1.78 percent. US stocks gained for the second straight session on Friday to reach new record highs on the news.

The conflict between the world’s two biggest economies has been going on for over a year, resulting in multiple rounds of tariffs and restrictions on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods. In 2018, the Trump administration began imposing tariffs and other trade barriers on China to force Beijing to make changes to what it called “unfair trade practices.”

Chinese officials are set to hold a press conference regarding the trade talks on Friday, at 10:30 p.m. Beijing time (2:30 p.m. GMT).

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section