The Mainland China equity market closed higher on Monday, 19 November 2018, as investor hopes for some easing of U. S.-China trade friction ahead of a planned summit between the world's largest economies as early as the end of this month. U. S. President Donald Trump said Friday his country may not slap more tariffs on Chinese products if Beijing makes some more concessions, providing a lift to U. S. equities that day. Market rebound was also aided by speculation that policymakers could cut China's benchmark lending rates for the first time in three years, amid weak credit growth and sluggish economic performance. At closing bell, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.91%, or 24.40 points, to 2,703.51, meanwhile the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, rose 0.51%, or 7.25 points, to 1,417.43. The blue-chip CSI300 index climbed up 1.13%, or 36.93 points, to 3,294.60.
Competition between the U. S. and China over the Pacific was thrown into the spotlight at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea.
U. S. Vice President Mike Pence listed U. S. differences with China, a day after he directly criticized its Belt and Road program, saying countries should not accept debt that compromised their sovereignty. "They begin with trade practices, with tariffs and quotas, forced technology transfers, the theft of intellectual property. It goes beyond that to freedom of navigation in the seas, concerns about human rights," Pence told reporters travelling with him, according to Reuters. China's foreign ministry responded by saying no developing country would fall into a debt trap simply because of its cooperation with Beijing. The developments come ahead of an expected meeting between U. S President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the upcoming G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
CURRENCY NEWS: China's yuan fell against the dollar on Monday, weighed by intensifying Sino-U. S. trade tensions and growing expectations the central bank could cut lending rates to combat weaker economic growth. Prior to market opening on Thursday, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate at 6.9245 per dollar, firmer than the previous fix of 6.9377. In the spot market, the spot yuan changed hands at 6.9425, weaker by 74 pips than the previous late session close.
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