Deal back on? Resurgence of optimism on the cards

Chris Lee

There was renewed hope on Friday that a trade deal between the United States and China could potentially be back on the cards.

The deal, which has been long promised by both sides but which has not yet actually materialised, has hit a range of delays.

It has been described as a “phase one” deal, which will aim to bring down some tariffs on a proportionate basis.

However, it has come up against problems, such as question marks over the purchasing of farms.

On Thursday evening, an economic adviser in the White House of Donald Trump appeared to suggest that a breakthrough could be on the cards.

Larry Kudlow indicated that the “mood music is pretty good” on the chances of a deal – although the lack of detail led some in the markets to question whether or not there was actually any fresh optimism to be had.

The move was also bolstered somewhat by the decision of the Chinese commerce ministry to say that the two nations, which are among the world’s most economically powerful, were in the midst of discussions it described as “in-depth”.

Despite this, a claim published in the Financial Times newspaper claimed that one source had said that there was little chance of the deal hitting home before the key date of 15th December.

This date, one month from now, is when the next set of tariffs from the US will arrive.

However, there was a clear effect on the forex markets.

The Japanese yen, which is a safe haven and which had previously gone up a little overnight, went down by a fifth of a percentage point in its pair against the US dollar.

It was seen at 108.57 at one stage.

The US dollar index, which is a tool designed to help traders see how the dollar is performing compared to major global rivals, held firm at 98.140.

Elsewhere, the British pound was on the up over suggestions from polling data that the Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson could win an outright majority when the general election takes place next month.

The election, due to occur on 12th December, may spell an end to the ongoing deadlock over Brexit.

The pound was seen at $1.2880 in its pair against the US dollar.

It also went up against the single European currency and was seen at 0.8559 at one stage over the course of early trading.

The trade-exposed currencies in the Antipodean region were up based on the comments from Kudlow.

The New Zealand dollar was up by 0.1% against its US counterpart and was spotted at $0.6388 at one stage.

The yen plummeted even further in its pair with the Australian dollar.

The former was down by 0.3%.

Overall, the Australian dollar managed to recover its losses from earlier in the week, when it suffered greatly as a result of gloomy labour market figures.

Against the greenback, it was up by a fifth of a percentage point – and reached $0.6795 at one stage.

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