China tries to defuse trade pressure, says world benefits

China Says Its Trade Practices Benefit World

China should take "self-defence measures" against US tariffs by offering subsidies to companies and industries that may suffer losses from trade friction, the Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times said on Wednesday.

The move takes gold's losses this month to more than 3 percent - the biggest monthly loss since September - driven by a dollar rally, a large decline in gold held by exchange traded funds and a sharp fall in speculative bets on higher prices.

"After a lot of sabre-rattling, we are seeing Shanghai suffering a lot more than Wall Street, so clearly the first round (of trade war) has been won by America". The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 percent to 24,283.11.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 11, 2018.

Germany's DAX was down 1.2 percent to 12,206 and France's CAC 40 shed 0.6 percent to 5,293. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's suggestion that the investment restrictions wouldn't be limited to China caused stocks to slide further.

The US now plans to restrict Chinese investment in the technology industry and has threatened to slap an additional $200 billion in tariffs on goods such as cell phones, computers and electronic gadgets. All but one of the 72 technology companies listed on the S&P 500 index closed lower Monday.

A modest global rally in stocks on Wednesday spurred by a newly unveiled USA plan that takes a less confrontational approach to curbing Chinese acquisitions of American technology faded as investors shed optimism, but strong gains in oil limited losses.

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The adjustment, covering products made in India, Bangladesh, Laos, South Korea and Sri Lanka, was part of the tariff concession arrangement reached under the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), it said. Harley-Davidson shares plunged 6.0 percent on Monday.

The euro rebounded on Wednesday as concerns about an escalating trade conflict held back the dollar, while traders said markets needed clarity on a developing political crisis in Germany and an European Union summit before pushing the euro higher. In less than two weeks, tariffs imposed by the USA and China on each other will also kick in.

Global stocks were mixed Thursday as investors digested assurances from the USA and China on trade, after a series of exchanges between the two resulted in widespread uncertainty.

The US dollar was broadly steady against a basket of currencies at 94.661, after bouncing from 94.171 on Tuesday. Beijing responded to Washington's first round of hikes on USD34 billion of imports by raising duties on U.S. soybeans, whiskey and other products.

GENERAL ELECTRIC: Shares in General Electric jumped 4.4 percent in premarket trading on reports that the company would spin off its health care business and sell its $23 billion stake in oil services company Baker Hughes. Brent crude, used to price global oils, fell 9 cents to $77.37 in London. The euro was back at US$1.1650, having run into profit-taking at a top of US$1.1720 overnight.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged down to 110.18 yen from 110.20 Japanese yen in late trading Wednesday.

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