Australia plays down China coal ban reports

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The dollar index rose to a two-month high last week, but demand for the liquid greenback has recently ebbed on optimism that a fresh round of talks between China and the U.S. would help resolve their trade conflict. They've singled out only Australian coal.

While the local officials acted on the order in various ways, the general effect was to extend clearance for Australian coal to more than 40 days.

Negotiators are drawing up six memorandums of understanding on structural issues: forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade, the sources said, as the two sides push for an agreement by March 1.

Wood Mackenzie senior consultant Yu Zhai said China's seaborne metallurgical coal imports were to reduce by 3Mt in 2019 as a result of China's coal import restriction.

"The objective of this is to better maintain Chinese import enterprises' legitimate rights and interests and to ensure environmental safety", Geng said.

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But the dollar surrendered its rebound off last night's low and was trading at US70.90¢ as markets awaited further clarification over the ban.

Customs at Dalian have informed the port that its total coal import quota for 2019 would be cut to 12 million tonnes, according to one of the people. "Medium to long term it's also worth also considering if China's imports of coal and iron ore have peaked".

Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg downplayed reports that a major port in northern China has banned coal imports from Australia and says trade ties between the two nations are "exceptionally strong".

"I want to provide reassurance that we have no basis to believe that there is a ban on Australian coal exports into China or into any part of China", he said.

Traders will be looking too for hints about how far and how fast the Fed intends to reduce its balance sheet., the Cleveland Fed President, said Tuesday that she was in favor of ending the this year, an outcome that would leave a substantial amount of crisis-era liquidity in the system, capping any rise in market interest rates. He said Beijing's suggestion that the issue was linked to the quality of Australian coal was untrue. Yancoal closed 2.8 per cent weaker, New Hope lost 3.3 per cent, Stanmore Coal was down 2 per cent and Coronado Coal was off 3 per cent. Glencore, a major coal producer, was down more than 3 per cent in London on Thursday night but BHP Billiton stock was steady. "This has been confirmed by our own conversations with buyers in China".

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"This is not the first time that on occasion local ports make decisions about these matters", he told reporters in Auckland, where he is meeting with his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern.

Central bank governor Philip Lowe said Friday it would be "concerning" if the diplomatic spats were spilling into the trading arena, but added that it would be prudent to "wait and see" what the motivations behind the Chinese actions were.

"The potential political nature of this targeted ban after a number of bilateral issues have surfaced. may be reminiscent of the impediments to Mongolia's coal exports to China after the Dalai Lama visit in 2016", US bank Citi said on Friday in a note.

He said the relationship with China was in good shape.

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