Headline indices of the Mainland China equity market were mixed on Friday, 13 July 2018, as investors braced for the impact of broadening tit-for-tat Chinese-U. S tariffs. Around late afternoon, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.12%, or 3.27 points, to 2,834.39, meanwhile the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, rose 0.496 or 9.66 points, to 1,606.82. The blue-chip CSI300 index added 0.5%, or 17.15 points, to 3,498.21.
China has yet to give details on what kind of firm and forceful measures it would use to respond to the fresh round of potential tariff hikes on $200 billion of goods announced by the U. S. on Tuesday. But Beijing stepped up pressure on Washington by suggesting that U. S. companies lobby American leaders. The U. S. and China are yet to resume negotiations over the dispute that led to tariff hikes on each other's goods.
The Trump administration raised the stakes in its trade war with China on Tuesday, saying it would slap 10% tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. U. S. officials released a list of thousands of Chinese imports the administration wants to hit with the new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum.
It also includes consumer goods ranging from car tires, furniture, wood products, handbags and suitcases, to dog and cat food, baseball gloves, carpets, doors, bicycles, skis, golf bags, toilet paper and beauty products. The U. S. tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods are scheduled to take effect after Aug. 30, when the Trump administration's consultation process ends. China's government said it will take firm and forceful measures if the new tariffs are enacted. That response probably would include measures other than tariffs.
Last week, Washington imposed 25% tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, drawing immediate retaliatory duties from Beijing on US imports in the first shots of a heated trade war. US President Donald Trump had warned then that his country may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese imports.
ECONOMIC NEWS: China posts US$41.61 billion trade surplus in June as imports drop-- China's trade surplus widened sharply amid escalating trade tensions with the U. S., which is preparing to impose fresh tariffs on a further $200 billion in Chinese goods. China reported a trade surplus of $41.61 billion in June, compared with $24.92 billion in May, the General Administration of Customs said Friday. That was up from economists' expectations of $26 billion surplus. Imports grew 14.1% in June from a year ago, well below the 26% increase in May and economists' forecast of a 23.5% gain. China's exports rose 11.3% in June from a year earlier, compared with a 12.6% increase in May, customs data showed.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Chinese yuan was down against the dollar on Friday, due to the People's Bank of China softer mid-point rate fixing. The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, weakened 1 basis point to 6.6727 against the U. S. dollar Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) issued a statement on Friday, announcing that it injected 188.5bn Yuan via 1-year Medium-term lending facility (MLF) at 3.3 percent. Earlier today, the PBOC skipped the open market operations (OMOs).
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