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US-China trade war takes toll on global manufacturing

LONDON/HONG KONG: Factory activity weakened across much of Europe and Asia in December as the US-led trade war and a slowdown in demand hit production in many economies, offering little reason for optimism as the new year begins. A series of purchasing managers’ indexes for December released on Wednesday mostly showed declines or slowdowns in manufacturing activity across the globe. “We are really seeing a global slowdown into this year, and in Asia, particularly, export-oriented countries are hurting,” said Irene…

Trump, Xi upbeat on US-China trade disputes ahead of meeting

WASHINGTON: United States (US) President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping both expressed optimism on Thursday about resolving their bitter trade disputes ahead of a high-stakes meeting planned for the two leaders at the end of November in Argentina. Trump said on Twitter that trade discussions with China were “moving along nicely” and that he planned to meet with Xi on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit, after the two had a “very good” phone discussion. In comments to state media, Xi said he hoped China…

US-China trade war triggers seafood supply chain shake-up

NEW YORK/MONTREAL: The US-China trade war has triggered a seafood supply chain shake-up, with US importers scrambling to stockpile frozen Chinese squid and tilapia ahead of looming price increases while Canada exports more lobsters to China. A series of retaliatory tariffs between Beijing and Washington has led to a shift in global trade, creating winners and losers in sales of commodities from soya to seafood to pork. About $3 billion worth of Chinese seafood imported into the United States is now subject to a 10…

US-China trade war poses oil demand shock in 2019

SINGAPORE: US sanctions on Iran will tighten global oil supplies sharply until the end of the year, but a threat to world demand looms in 2019 from the U.S.-China trade war, the head of BP’s oil trading in Asia said. “We’re moving into the tightest part of 2018 ... the re-imposition of Iran sanctions is the main factor as the market will tighten substantially from now to year-end,” Janet Kong, chief executive of Integrated Supply and Trading Eastern Hemisphere at BP told Reuters. Saudi Arabia and Russia won’t add…

Collapse of Trump-Kim summit threatens to deepen US-China rift

BEIJING: U.S. President Donald Trump’s cancellation of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatens further strain on U.S.-China ties amid a trade dispute that had been intertwined with Beijing’s pressure on isolated Pyongyang. The United States and China are also increasingly at odds in the disputed South China Sea. The Pentagon this week withdrew an invitation for China to take part in a major naval exercise in Hawaii, and Beijing has ramped up pressure on self-ruled Taiwan, armed by Washington but claimed by…