Wall Street rallies amid US-China trade progress

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Without a delay to the March 1st deadline, the 90-day trade truce agreed upon by President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in December on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina would have come to an end. and import duties on 200 billion US dollars worth of Chinese goods would have jumped from 10 percent to 25 percent.

Overall, China's CSI 300 index of large-cap companies is up 22.3 percent for the year to date, or about 11 percentage points more than the US benchmark S&P 500 index. Trump extended the March 1 deadline to allow for talks to continue as China also announced an additional 10 million metric ton purchase intention of US soybeans.

The move by US fund managers into Chinese equities comes as investors have been moving steadily back into emerging markets after many abandoned the category amid the global stock market turmoil in the last quarter of 2018.

The survey found that 89 percent of businesses reported a pessimistic view on the world's most important bilateral trade relationship.

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"Trump has clearly put his negotiators on notice that he wants a deal", said Eswar Prasad, a trade professor at Cornell University and former head of the International Monetary Fund's China department.

Among 150 companies that responded to a questionnaire last week, 43 per cent want to keep Trump's punitive tariffs of 10 per cent on $200 billion of Chinese goods in place while negotiations go ahead, Stratford said.

"I am pleased to report that the USA has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues, including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues", the president tweeted.

China's average import tariff of 3.5 percent is the highest among top industrial nations, data from the World Bank shows, although its tariff rates have fallen sharply over the past 20 years.

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Trump announced the delay via Twitter, citing "substantial progress" in trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

Bona fides and practical efforts, which have always been key to settling the disputes between China and the United States in economy and trade, have been fostering growing consensus, patching up differences and been well-received by both countries and the global community. He said if progress is made, he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort to finalize an agreement.

The latest developments came after a new round of negotiations between US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He.

In his Feb 5 State of the Union address, Trump said a China trade deal "must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs".

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Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Tuesday, backtracking from Monday's rally spurred by news that President Donald Trump had pushed back a deadline for raising tariffs on imports from China to allow time for more negotiations. For businesses caught in between, that just means continued uncertainty. It said nearly half of companies surveyed believe Chinese policies are enforced differently against them and local rivals.

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