Market tensions

China seeks more trade talks as Asia stock markets plummet


China wants more trade talks

China said it is willing to resolve its trade dispute with the United States as stock markets in Asia endured sharp falls on the escalating war of words.

The increasingly bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies showed few signs of easing on Friday, as both sides imposed more tariffs on each other’s exports.

US President Donald Trump announced an additional duty on some $550 billion of targeted Chinese goods, hours after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods.

At the G7 meeting in France over the weekend, Mr Trump caused some confusion by indicating he may have had second thoughts on the tariffs.

But the White House said on Sunday that he wished he had raised tariffs on Chinese goods even higher last week.

China’s Vice Premier Liu He, who has been leading the talks with Washington, said nobody benefited from a trade war.

“We are willing to resolve the issue through consultations and cooperation in a calm attitude and resolutely oppose the escalation of the trade war,” Liu, who is President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, according to a government transcript seen by the Reuters news agency.

“We believe that the escalation of the trade war is not beneficial for China, the United States, nor to the interests of the people of the world,” he added.

Global stock markets fell sharply on Monday after the latest measures, while China’s yuan currency fell to a fresh 11-year low. Investors streamed into the safe harbors of sovereign bonds and gold.

Japan’s Nikkei lost 2.1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slid 3.2% and the Shanghai Composite gave up 1.3%.

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