Markets jump on expectations of trade progress with China

Markets jump on expectations of trade progress with China
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Stock markets jumped Friday ahead of scheduled talks between President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, amid expectations that the sides were making progress toward a limited trade deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average spiked more than 300 points, or 1.1 percent, as reports flowed in of potential progress.


Bloomberg News reported that the White House was considering pushing forward an agreement on currency, which had been previously agreed upon, and considering suspending a planned 5 percentage point increase on tariffs affecting $250 billion of Chinese imports.

China was also set to ask that sanctions be lifted on its largest shipping company and offer to increase agricultural purchases.

China also announced a timeline for scrapping ownership caps for foreign firms in financial companies, saying that it would accept applications for larger ownership stakes starting in January.

On Thursday evening, Trump said the talks were "going really well," while Reuters quoted a White House official as saying the talks have been going "better than expected."

The trade war with China has been one of the main drivers of unease and uncertainty for businesses. Business leaders and economists have cited it as one reason for lower growth expectations going into the 2020 election year.

For Trump, the China trade issue is politically tricky. A deal could open markets and help push up the economy in the midst of his reelection campaign. But if a deal is seen as caving to Chinese interests, he could pay a political price.

On Friday morning, Trump tweeted more encouraging statements, saying that "Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting," and that negotiators were aiming for "something significant."