Xi upstaged Trump by calming markets at ‘Asian Davos’

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By VOA News [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

China’s President Xi Jinping Upstaged U.S. President Donald Trump by calming the market after a speech at the Boao Forum for Asia, dubbed the “Asian Davos”.

Xi discussed plans to further open up the Chinese economy, against a backdrop of protectionism promoted by the U.S.

The Chinese President promised to “significantly lower” import tariffs on products including cars, as well as improve the investment environment for foreign companies.

His speech is seen as conciliatory amid rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Following his speech, the Nikkei rose by +0.5%, Hang Seng +1.6%; Shanghai +1.7%; Sensex +0.4% in Asia.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 gained +0.3%; CAC 40 +0.7%; DAX +0,9% whereas the U.S. futures, the Dow gained +1%, S&P +1% and the Nasdaq +1.5%.

Oil is up 1.2% at $64.19/bbl, however, gold is down 0.1% lower at 0.1% and the 10-year Treasury yield is up 1 bps to 2.8%, said the Seeking Alpha.com portal.

China hit back at the U.S. new taxes on Chinese imported goods into the U.S., promising to make it harder for U.S. goods to reach China in response to Trump’s trade-war.

However, observers believe the ‘trade-war’ between the U.S. and China will not happen as the U.S. is using the tariffs attack against Beijing’s rise into a technological giant.

News reports said Xi portrayed China as committed to opening its economy as he presented an alternative vision to President Donald Trump’s calls for tariffs and restricting trade with China.

Xi urged “dialogue rather than confrontation” in his first public speech since the beginning of an escalating trade dispute between his country and the United States.

Mr Xi implicitly took aim at the Trump administration: “The Cold War mentality and zero-sum game are increasingly obsolete,”

“Only by adhering to peaceful development and working together can we truly achieve win-win results.”

Mr Xi highlighted areas where China was willing to ease restrictions on imported cars by the end of the year as well as repeating open-ended promises to give foreigners greater access to the country’s financial markets.