Issue 75 - 21.10.2019
21.10.2019

Experts dispel claims of China debt-trap diplomacy in Pacific

China has not engaged in deliberate “debt-trap diplomacy” in the Pacific, but the burgeoning scale of China’s lending, and institutional weakness within Pacific states, pose clear risks for small states being overwhelmed by debt, a new report argues.

And an infrastructure arms race between China and other countries with interests in the region – including Australia – might only exacerbate the problem.

The Lowy Institute report, Ocean of Debt?, says China’s Belt and Road Initiative has exposed the issue of unsustainable debt risk for less-developed countries, in particular for the small and fragile economies of the Pacific. But the report’s authors, Roland Rajah, Alexandre Dayant and Jonathan Pryke, argue China’s global infrastructure plan presents a more “nuanced picture” than the accusation of ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ and sovereign risk to small nations unable to service their debts.

“The evidence suggests China has not been engaged in problematic debt practices in the Pacific as to justify accusations of debt trap diplomacy, at least not to date. Still, the sheer scale of Chinese lending and the lack of strong institutional mechanisms to protect the debt sustainability of borrowing countries mean a continuation of business as usual would pose clear risks.

“China will need to substantially restructure its approach if it wants to remain a major player in the Pacific without fulfilling the debt trap accusations of its critics.”

“Debt-trap diplomacy”, broadly defined, is where a creditor country intentionally lends excessive credit to a smaller debtor country, with the intention of extracting economic or political concessions when the smaller country cannot service the loan.

Because of small populations, fragile economies prone to external shocks (like oil price hikes) or uncontrollable events such as natural disasters, and weak institutions of government, Pacific states are acutely vulnerable to debts becoming unsustainable. Economic growth in Pacific states is “more volatile than it is fast”, and that unpredictably can make repaying large loans unsustainable, the Lowy report says.

China’s massively increased aid and development presence in the Pacific is made starkly apparent by its contrasting style to traditional aid donors in the region, such as Australia.

China has backed infrastructure development – usually large, landmark constructions such as bridges or significant public buildings – and usually through loans rather than through grants.

“Chinese assistance is perceived to be faster, more responsive to the needs of local political elites, and have fewer conditions attached,” the Lowy report says. “As one senior Pacific bureaucrat put it: ‘we like China because they bring the red flags, not the red tape’.”

China’s development presence was acutely apparent when the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, visited Fiji last week. In order to meet with the Fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, Morrison’s motorcade had to drive over the Fiji-China friendship bridge, and past the construction site of a Chinese-financed 30-storey tower, soon to be the tallest building in the Pacific islands.

But the nature and quality of Chinese infrastructure projects have been criticised.

The former international development minister, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, accused Beijing of “duchessing” the Pacific, building “white elephant” infrastructure, “roads to nowhere” and “useless buildings”.

“Tied financing, little due diligence, outsized projects, weak project oversight, and fraudulent and corrupt practices are among the many criticisms that have been directed at Chinese projects,” the Lowy report said.

But a 2014 study analysing the impact and quality of Chinese projects in the Pacific found some performed far better than others.

“The evidence suggests that, if left alone, Chinese state firms will cut corners and inflate prices. If managed properly, they can deliver good quality infrastructure,” the Lowy report says.

The case of Hambantota port in Sri Lanka is held up as an exemplar of a “debt-trap” diplomacy.

After China’s Export Import Bank financed, and Chinese companies built, a new inland port in Hambantota – the home district of the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who greenlit the port, and after whom it is named – the Sri Lankan government ran into debt-related problems and a debt-for-equity swap was proposed, giving a state-owned Chinese firm a majority equity stake in the strategically located port from 2017.

Similarly, Tonga, a country of 100,000 people, still owes China’s Exim Bank $108m – about 25% of Tonga’s GDP – for loans taken out in 2008 and 2010 and since deferred twice.

In 2018, the then Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said Australia wanted to ensure Pacific states were not “trapped into unsustainable debt outcomes” by Chinese loans. “The trap can then be a debt-for-equity swap and they have lost their sovereignty.”

And in August this year, the US Defence Secretary, Mark Esper, accused China of destabilising the region through “predatory economics and debt-for-sovereignty deals”.

China has fiercely rejected the accusations. “Rather than pointing fingers at China’s good deeds, those who keep on making groundless accusations and speculations might as well do more themselves to provide help to the Pacific island countries,” Beijing’s ambassador to Samoa, Chao Xiaoliang, wrote in the Samoa Observer.

“Some people questioned the purpose of China’s aid, even disregarded the facts and fabricated the so-called ‘China debt trap’ – this is either out of prejudice or ignorance of China’s foreign aid policy.”

The Lowy paper argues that in order to avoid its Pacific infrastructure projects becoming debt traps for small nations, China should reform its lending practices to be closer to those of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, “the standard-bearers for international good practice”.

“If China wants to remain a major development financier in the Pacific without fulfilling the debt trap accusations of its critics, it will need to substantially restructure its approach, including adopting formal lending rules similar to those of the multilateral development banks.”

Despite a significantly decreased aid budget – currently a historic low 0.21% of GNI – Australia remains the dominant aid provider to the region. But, as part of the Pacific Step-Up it announced in November 2018, Australia is seeking to move more into providing loans, alongside aid grants, with the $2bn Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) – $1.5bn in loans, $0.5bn in grants – as well as another $1bn in callable capital for Export Finance Australia (EFA).

The Lowy paper warns against an infrastructure arms race with China in the Pacific, arguing it could worsen the risk of debt traps for island nations.

“There are concerns that in seeking to compete directly with loans from China, Australia might simply exacerbate existing debt sustainability problems in the Pacific.”

Reported on October 21 2019 by The Guardian (UK).

EURASIA

21.10.2019

Chinese company to build natural gas processing plant in Russia

A subsidiary company of China National Chemical Engineering (Group) Co. Ltd. (CNCEC), has signed an agreement with a Russian company to build a natural gas processing and chemical plant in a small town near Russia's shoreline of the Gulf of Finland.

The deal, which is worth about 12 billion euros (around...

A subsidiary company of China National Chemical Engineering (Group) Co. Ltd. (CNCEC), has signed an agreement with a Russian company to build a natural gas processing and chemical plant in a small town near Russia's shoreline of the Gulf of Finland.

The deal, which is worth about 12 billion euros (around...

21.10.2019

New Chinese-Kazakh cement plant put into operation in SW Kazakhstan

A new Chinese-Kazakh cement plant with designed daily production of 2,500 tons of clinker cement, was officially put into operation on Friday in Shieli County, southwest Kazakhstan's Kyzylorda Region.

The joint cement plant, founded by China Gezhouba Group Cement Co., Ltd, is one of 55 China-Kazakhstan production capacity projects.

"The Kazakh government...

A new Chinese-Kazakh cement plant with designed daily production of 2,500 tons of clinker cement, was officially put into operation on Friday in Shieli County, southwest Kazakhstan's Kyzylorda Region.

The joint cement plant, founded by China Gezhouba Group Cement Co., Ltd, is one of 55 China-Kazakhstan production capacity projects.

"The Kazakh government...

21.10.2019

China eyes boost in trade, economic relations with Azerbaijan

China is ready to use the Baku International Sea Trade Port for further expansion of transport routes through Central Asia, Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Guo Min told reporters in Baku, Trend reports Oct. 18.

The ambassador noted that China and Azerbaijan are ancient civilizations on the Silk Road.

“Azerbaijan is one...

China is ready to use the Baku International Sea Trade Port for further expansion of transport routes through Central Asia, Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Guo Min told reporters in Baku, Trend reports Oct. 18.

The ambassador noted that China and Azerbaijan are ancient civilizations on the Silk Road.

“Azerbaijan is one of the first...

Europe

21.10.2019

Germany-China cooperation hinges on trust

Trust is the basis for strengthening cooperation between Germany and China, said Michael Schumann, chairman of the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA), at a two-day summit here dubbed "Hidden Champions Meet China."

Several German companies have invested and set up factories in China, and Chinese companies...

Trust is the basis for strengthening cooperation between Germany and China, said Michael Schumann, chairman of the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA), at a two-day summit here dubbed "Hidden Champions Meet China."

Several German companies have invested and set up factories in China, and Chinese companies...

21.10.2019

Greece-China cooperation sets example for European countries

Having a stronger relationship with China is good for Greece, and their cooperation has set an example for European countries, said Adonis Georgiadis, Greek minister of development and investments.

Georgiadis said Chinese enterprises' investment in the Piraeus Port in Greece is a successful case of bilateral cooperation. He added that the...

Having a stronger relationship with China is good for Greece, and their cooperation has set an example for European countries, said Adonis Georgiadis, Greek minister of development and investments.

Georgiadis said Chinese enterprises' investment in the Piraeus Port in Greece is a successful case of bilateral cooperation. He added that the...

21.10.2019

China hopes process of Brexit steady, orderly

China hopes the process of Brexit can be steady and orderly, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Friday.

Geng made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a question on Brexit.

After rounds of day and night negotiation, leaders of the European Union (EU) and Britain declared Thursday that they...

China hopes the process of Brexit can be steady and orderly, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Friday.

Geng made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a question on Brexit.

After rounds of day and night negotiation, leaders of the European Union (EU) and Britain declared Thursday that they...

China, Pacific

21.10.2019

What 6% GDP growth means to China’s economy

China's GDP grew by 6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, slower than expected. It has triggered widespread discussions at home and abroad. The downward pressure on China's economy is persisting. The US-launched trade war against China and the sluggish global economy have also had a negative influence, which weighed...

China's GDP grew by 6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, slower than expected. It has triggered widespread discussions at home and abroad. The downward pressure on China's economy is persisting. The US-launched trade war against China and the sluggish global economy have also had a negative influence, which weighed...

21.10.2019

China’s Central bank: yuan rate 'broadly stable'

The Chinese currency has a stable foundation, according to senior officials and analysts, and they believe a prudent monetary policy is best for China to deal with domestic and external economic issues.

"The yuan exchange rate has remained broadly stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level, based on market supply and...

The Chinese currency has a stable foundation, according to senior officials and analysts, and they believe a prudent monetary policy is best for China to deal with domestic and external economic issues.

"The yuan exchange rate has remained broadly stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level, based on market supply and...

21.10.2019

Moves afoot to boost RMB usage in capital markets

Liberalization of cross-border investments is a tough task but inevitable in order to facilitate international usage of the renminbi. Fortunately, financial opening-up measures confirm the country's determination to go through the process, no matter what, experts said.

Further encouraging external investors to use the RMB to buy bonds and shares in...

Liberalization of cross-border investments is a tough task but inevitable in order to facilitate international usage of the renminbi. Fortunately, financial opening-up measures confirm the country's determination to go through the process, no matter what, experts said.

Further encouraging external investors to use the RMB to buy bonds and shares in...

21.10.2019

When RMB goes global, some things happen

As a financial journalist whose beat includes the monetary system and the central bank, I find the phrase "RMB internationalization" encouraging and confusing at the same time.

Encouraging because it holds out hope that China's increasing significance on the global financial stage will create more and more opportunities to write big-picture...

As a financial journalist whose beat includes the monetary system and the central bank, I find the phrase "RMB internationalization" encouraging and confusing at the same time.

Encouraging because it holds out hope that China's increasing significance on the global financial stage will create more and more opportunities to write big-picture...

21.10.2019

Chinese economy resilient enough to withstand external headwinds

The Chinese economy slowed down in the third quarter, but it is no cause for panic.

Although the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth cooled down to 6 percent in the third quarter, the figures should be read with calmness and composure.

Amid trade tensions and the country's transition from a phase...

The Chinese economy slowed down in the third quarter, but it is no cause for panic.

Although the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth cooled down to 6 percent in the third quarter, the figures should be read with calmness and composure.

Amid trade tensions and the country's transition from a phase...

21.10.2019

China's GDP grows 6.2 pct in first three quarters

China's GDP expanded 6.2 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2019 to about 69.78 trillion yuan (about 9.87 trillion U.S. dollars), data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Friday.

The growth was in line with the government's annual target of 6-6.5 percent set for 2019.

In...

China's GDP expanded 6.2 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2019 to about 69.78 trillion yuan (about 9.87 trillion U.S. dollars), data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Friday.

The growth was in line with the government's annual target of 6-6.5 percent set for 2019.

In...

21.10.2019

China's fiscal revenue up 3.3 pct in Jan-Sept, topping 15 trln yuan

China's fiscal revenue increased 3.3 percent year on year to around 15.07 trillion yuan (about 2.13 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first nine months of 2019, official data showed Thursday.

As the effect of tax and fee cuts continues to kick in, tax revenue has been on a falling streak since...

China's fiscal revenue increased 3.3 percent year on year to around 15.07 trillion yuan (about 2.13 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first nine months of 2019, official data showed Thursday.

As the effect of tax and fee cuts continues to kick in, tax revenue has been on a falling streak since...

21.10.2019

China's industrial output up 5.6 pct in first three quarters

China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, expanded 5.6 percent year on year in the first three quarters, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.

In September, the industrial output rose 5.8 percent year on year, up 1.4 percentage points from the growth rate in August, according to the...

China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, expanded 5.6 percent year on year in the first three quarters, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.

In September, the industrial output rose 5.8 percent year on year, up 1.4 percentage points from the growth rate in August, according to the...

21.10.2019

Huawei sees faster revenue growth in first three quarters of 2019

Huawei shipped more than 185 million smartphones in the first three quarters of 2019, up 26 percent year-on-year, despite a US ban that hurt its ties with US suppliers, the company said in financial results released on Wednesday. 

The Chinese technology giant said revenue grew 24.4 percent to 610.8 billion yuan...

Huawei shipped more than 185 million smartphones in the first three quarters of 2019, up 26 percent year-on-year, despite a US ban that hurt its ties with US suppliers, the company said in financial results released on Wednesday. 

The Chinese technology giant said revenue grew 24.4 percent to 610.8 billion yuan...

21.10.2019

China's power generation sees faster growth

China's power generation rose 4.7 percent year on year in September, faster growth than the 1.7-percent rate recorded in August, official data showed Friday.

Power generation hit 590.8 billion kilowatt-hours last month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

A breakdown showed coal-fired electricity returned to growth in September, climbing 6...

China's power generation rose 4.7 percent year on year in September, faster growth than the 1.7-percent rate recorded in August, official data showed Friday.

Power generation hit 590.8 billion kilowatt-hours last month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

A breakdown showed coal-fired electricity returned to growth in September, climbing 6...

21.10.2019

China's natural gas output posts faster growth

China's natural gas output posted faster growth in September, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

The output hit 13.5 billion cubic meters last month, up 10.6 percent year on year, compared with an increase of 6.6 percent in August, according to the NBS.

In the first three quarters of...

China's natural gas output posted faster growth in September, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

The output hit 13.5 billion cubic meters last month, up 10.6 percent year on year, compared with an increase of 6.6 percent in August, according to the NBS.

In the first three quarters of...

21.10.2019

China's central SOEs report steady net profit growth in Jan-Sept

Net profits of China's centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) went up 7.4 percent year on year to over 1 trillion yuan (about 141.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the first nine months, official data showed Thursday.

The growth pace was slightly faster than the 6.9-percent increase registered in the first eight months, the...

Net profits of China's centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) went up 7.4 percent year on year to over 1 trillion yuan (about 141.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the first nine months, official data showed Thursday.

The growth pace was slightly faster than the 6.9-percent increase registered in the first eight months, the...

21.10.2019

China's inflation stays within annual target

China's consumer prices in September remained within the annual target of around 3 percent, with more stabilizing macroeconomic measures to take effect in the near future.

The country's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 3 percent year on year in September, up from 2.8 percent in August...

China's consumer prices in September remained within the annual target of around 3 percent, with more stabilizing macroeconomic measures to take effect in the near future.

The country's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 3 percent year on year in September, up from 2.8 percent in August...

21.10.2019

China’s stock markets veer up as tension on the trade warfront eases

China’s key benchmarks rose more than 1% on Monday, led by tech and financial shares as investors cheered signs of progress in the Sino-U.S. trade talks, although doubts over a durable deal between the two economic powerhouses and China’s economic health capped the upside.

The blue-chip CSI300 index gained 1.1% to...

China’s key benchmarks rose more than 1% on Monday, led by tech and financial shares as investors cheered signs of progress in the Sino-U.S. trade talks, although doubts over a durable deal between the two economic powerhouses and China’s economic health capped the upside.

The blue-chip CSI300 index gained 1.1% to...

21.10.2019

China's foreign trade up 2.8 pct in first three quarters

China's foreign trade maintained stable growth in the first three quarters of this year by expanding 2.8 percent year on year, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Monday.

Total foreign trade volume reached 22.91 trillion yuan (about 3.23 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first 9 months. Exports expanded 5.2 percent...

China's foreign trade maintained stable growth in the first three quarters of this year by expanding 2.8 percent year on year, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Monday.

Total foreign trade volume reached 22.91 trillion yuan (about 3.23 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first 9 months. Exports expanded 5.2 percent...

21.10.2019

China reports growing bulk commodity imports in Jan-Sept

China saw robust growth of major bulk commodity imports in the first nine months of this year, data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed Monday.

The country's imports of crude oil climbed 9.7 percent year-on-year to 369 million tons during the period. Coal imports increased 9.5 percent year-on-year to...

China saw robust growth of major bulk commodity imports in the first nine months of this year, data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed Monday.

The country's imports of crude oil climbed 9.7 percent year-on-year to 369 million tons during the period. Coal imports increased 9.5 percent year-on-year to...

21.10.2019

China’s stock markets witness setback on disappointing macroeconomics

China stocks fell on Friday, posting their steepest daily drop in a month to end the week lower, as weaker-than-expected GDP growth deepened worries over the health of the world's second largest economy amid a trade war that is more than a year old.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.4%, to...

China stocks fell on Friday, posting their steepest daily drop in a month to end the week lower, as weaker-than-expected GDP growth deepened worries over the health of the world's second largest economy amid a trade war that is more than a year old.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.4%, to...

21.10.2019

China urges Japan to honor commitment of reflecting aggression history

China urged Japan to earnestly honor its commitment of reflecting and facing up to the history of aggression, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine and some Japanese cabinet members and lawmakers paid tribute to the shrine on Thursday.

"We have lodged stern...

China urged Japan to earnestly honor its commitment of reflecting and facing up to the history of aggression, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine and some Japanese cabinet members and lawmakers paid tribute to the shrine on Thursday.

"We have lodged stern...

South Asia, Middle East

21.10.2019

China rolls into heart of Southeast Asia

Xi'an International Inland Port Multimodal Transportation Company has unveiled China's plan to launch a freight service from Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, to Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, by the end of this year under the much-touted Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Located in Xi'an International Trade and Logistics Park,...

Xi'an International Inland Port Multimodal Transportation Company has unveiled China's plan to launch a freight service from Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, to Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, by the end of this year under the much-touted Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Located in Xi'an International Trade and Logistics Park,...

21.10.2019

China, India will regain economic glory

That China is a leading country in the world should not surprise anyone because since 1680, it had been the No 1 economy, till imperialism attacked it.

Before that, India was in the lead. India, too, suffered very severely from foreign invasions and imperialism. Such factors affected both China and India.

By...

That China is a leading country in the world should not surprise anyone because since 1680, it had been the No 1 economy, till imperialism attacked it.

Before that, India was in the lead. India, too, suffered very severely from foreign invasions and imperialism. Such factors affected both China and India.

By...

21.10.2019

Turkey aims to surpass $20bn trade volume with China

Turkey is working intensively to surpass its current trade volume with China -- $20 billion -- focusing on high value-added projects within a win-win framework, the head of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) said on Oct. 18.

The Belt and Road Initiative was launched by China as...

Turkey is working intensively to surpass its current trade volume with China -- $20 billion -- focusing on high value-added projects within a win-win framework, the head of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) said on Oct. 18.

The Belt and Road Initiative was launched by China as is a project critical both in terms of the...

Africa, Americas

21.10.2019

Angolan president inaugurates Chinese-built airport

Angolan President Joao Lourenco on Friday inaugurated the Chinese-built Kuito Airport in central Angola's Bie Province.

The airport, one of the key projects of the Angolan government and an important air traffic hub for the Bie Plateau, has been built by the China Railway 20th Bureau Group Corporation (CR20) since 2017.

The...

Angolan President Joao Lourenco on Friday inaugurated the Chinese-built Kuito Airport in central Angola's Bie Province.

The airport, one of the key projects of the Angolan government and an important air traffic hub for the Bie Plateau, has been built by the China Railway 20th Bureau Group Corporation (CR20) since 2017.

The...

21.10.2019

Honeywell launches smart manufacturing research center in Shanghai

US-based conglomerate Honeywell has launched its Smart Manufacturing Research Center in Shanghai, in a bid to further tap into the Chinese market by diversifying its investment and development in the country.

The research center, announced during the ongoing Honeywell Process Solutions' biannual China Technology Symposium in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, plans to...

US-based conglomerate Honeywell has launched its Smart Manufacturing Research Center in Shanghai, in a bid to further tap into the Chinese market by diversifying its investment and development in the country.

The research center, announced during the ongoing Honeywell Process Solutions' biannual China Technology Symposium in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, plans to...

21.10.2019

U.S.-China trade talks send "positive sign”

The latest round of trade talks between China and the United States has sent "a positive sign" and shown that their current differences are "resolvable," a senior U.S. scholar said.

"It is obviously a positive sign that they are sending to the public," Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Washington-based...

The latest round of trade talks between China and the United States has sent "a positive sign" and shown that their current differences are "resolvable," a senior U.S. scholar said.

"It is obviously a positive sign that they are sending to the public," Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Washington-based...

21.10.2019

Chinese enterprises encouraged to continue playing positive role in China-U.S. ties

Political and business leaders on Thursday evening highlighted economic and trade cooperation between Chinese and American enterprises at a gathering in Houston in the U.S. state of Texas.

Around 100 officials and business executives of Chinese and American companies attended the annual meeting of the China General Chamber of Commerce-Houston (CGCC-Houston).

While...

Political and business leaders on Thursday evening highlighted economic and trade cooperation between Chinese and American enterprises at a gathering in Houston in the U.S. state of Texas.

Around 100 officials and business executives of Chinese and American companies attended the annual meeting of the China General Chamber of Commerce-Houston (CGCC-Houston).

While...

Markets

21.10.2019

US dollar regains clout on alleged doubts on smooth US-China deal

Safe-haven currencies including the U.S. dollar gained on Monday as optimism over a trade deal between the United States and China ebbed. The greenback, Swiss franc and Japanese yen all weakened on Friday as optimism over the trade talks, together with the European Union and Britain restarting Brexit negotiations, encouraged...

Safe-haven currencies including the U.S. dollar gained on Monday as optimism over a trade deal between the United States and China ebbed. The greenback, Swiss franc and Japanese yen all weakened on Friday as optimism over the trade talks, together with the European Union and Britain restarting Brexit negotiations, encouraged...

21.10.2019

China yes, China no, China maybe blamed for drop in oil prices

Oil prices fell more than 2% on Monday as scant details about the first phase of a trade deal between the United States and China undercut optimism over a U.S.-Sino thaw that had helped lift crude markets by 2% at the end of last week.

Brent crude dropped $1.52 to $58.99...

Oil prices fell more than 2% on Monday as scant details about the first phase of a trade deal between the United States and China undercut optimism over a U.S.-Sino thaw that had helped lift crude markets by 2% at the end of last week.

Brent crude dropped $1.52 to $58.99...

21.10.2019

North Sea region’s natural gas prices up on the whims of wind

British prompt wholesale gas prices jumped on Monday as demand for gas used in power generation rose due to low winds while the overall system was undersupplied partly due to lower contributions from LNG terminals.

Day-ahead gas rose 1.75 pence to 26.00 pence per therm by 0800 GMT.

Gas for within-day delivery...

British prompt wholesale gas prices jumped on Monday as demand for gas used in power generation rose due to low winds while the overall system was undersupplied partly due to lower contributions from LNG terminals.

Day-ahead gas rose 1.75 pence to 26.00 pence per therm by 0800 GMT.

Gas for within-day delivery...

21.10.2019

Bullion drops further below $1,500 threshold as markets, commentators ignore state banks’ persistent buying spree

Gold prices eased on Monday, extending falls for a third session as optimism surrounding U.S.-China trade talks increased risk appetite, while a slight uptick in the dollar also weighed on prices.

Spot gold dropped 0.1% to $1,487.81 per ounce as of 0729 GMT, having shed 1% in the previous week. U.S....

Gold prices eased on Monday, extending falls for a third session as optimism surrounding U.S.-China trade talks increased risk appetite, while a slight uptick in the dollar also weighed on prices.

Spot gold dropped 0.1% to $1,487.81 per ounce as of 0729 GMT, having shed 1% in the previous week. U.S....

21.10.2019

Non-ferrous base metal markets mixed in the absence of clear supply vs. demand curves

Copper prices rose on Monday on signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and supply disruptions in parts of South America, but gains were capped by disappointing Chinese import/export data and caution about prospects for a final trade deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday outlined the first phase of a...

Copper prices rose on Monday on signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and supply disruptions in parts of South America, but gains were capped by disappointing Chinese import/export data and caution about prospects for a final trade deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday outlined the first phase of a...

21.10.2019

US grain benchmark futures in limbo as politics ignore economics

Chicago soybean futures gave up most of the gains that took them to a 16-month high on Monday as investors took a more cautious view on progress in trade talks between the United States and China last week. Wheat was little changed, also paring gains after touching its highest in...

Chicago soybean futures gave up most of the gains that took them to a 16-month high on Monday as investors took a more cautious view on progress in trade talks between the United States and China last week. Wheat was little changed, also paring gains after touching its highest in...

21.10.2019

Greenback continues decline as euro strengthens on Brexit deal hopes

The dollar fell sharply against the euro on Friday as the common currency jumped on hopes that a Brexit deal between Britain and the European Union could improve the odds of the euro zone avoiding a recession for now.

In one of the most striking flourishes of the three-year Brexit drama,...

The dollar fell sharply against the euro on Friday as the common currency jumped on hopes that a Brexit deal between Britain and the European Union could improve the odds of the euro zone avoiding a recession for now.

In one of the most striking flourishes of the three-year Brexit drama,...

21.10.2019

Brent price continues downward trend, China forever pointed at

Oil prices edged lower on Friday, as concerns about China's economy outweighed bullish signals from its refining sector, but losses were limited on hopes for progress toward a U.S.-China trade agreement.

Benchmark Brent crude oil futures fell 49 cents to settle at $59.42 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude...

Oil prices edged lower on Friday, as concerns about China's economy outweighed bullish signals from its refining sector, but losses were limited on hopes for progress toward a U.S.-China trade agreement.

Benchmark Brent crude oil futures fell 49 cents to settle at $59.42 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude...

21.10.2019

Technical trouble pushes North Sea region natural gas prices up

Prompt British wholesale gas prices soared on Friday morning as a series of unplanned outages at gas sites reliant on the Forties pipeline system left the market undersupplied.

The day-ahead contract was up 2.60 pence at 28.75 pence per therm by 0900 GMT.

The within-day contract was up 1.50 at 29.00 p/therm.

“They’ve...

Prompt British wholesale gas prices soared on Friday morning as a series of unplanned outages at gas sites reliant on the Forties pipeline system left the market undersupplied.

The day-ahead contract was up 2.60 pence at 28.75 pence per therm by 0900 GMT.

The within-day contract was up 1.50 at 29.00 p/therm.

“They’ve...

21.10.2019

Bullion steady, other precious metals up on vivid demand

 Gold steadied on Friday, helped by a weaker dollar, with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, uncertainties over U.S-China trade and fears of a global slowdown keeping bullion on track for a small weekly gain.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,490.70 an ounce as of 01:32 p.m. EDT (1732 GMT),...

 Gold steadied on Friday, helped by a weaker dollar, with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, uncertainties over U.S-China trade and fears of a global slowdown keeping bullion on track for a small weekly gain.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,490.70 an ounce as of 01:32 p.m. EDT (1732 GMT),...

21.10.2019

Copper pulled out of slump by encouraging trends in China’s construction sector, other base metals ride on dwindling storage reserves

Copper prices rose on Friday after positive Chinese data on property and infrastructure growth, while zinc and lead hit multi-month highs as investors worried about shortages.

Industrial metals prices were volatile after China’s economic growth slowed slightly more than expected to 6% year-on-year in the third quarter, the weakest pace in...

Copper prices rose on Friday after positive Chinese data on property and infrastructure growth, while zinc and lead hit multi-month highs as investors worried about shortages.

Industrial metals prices were volatile after China’s economic growth slowed slightly more than expected to 6% year-on-year in the third quarter, the weakest pace in...

21.10.2019

US wheat benchmark futures’ prices reverse from earlier peak

Chicago wheat futures edged lower on Friday, pausing after a rally to a three-month high as traders assessed the prospect of tightening global supply due to sustained global demand at a time of poor crop weather in Argentina and Australia. Corn eased while soybeans ticked higher as investors awaited a...

Chicago wheat futures edged lower on Friday, pausing after a rally to a three-month high as traders assessed the prospect of tightening global supply due to sustained global demand at a time of poor crop weather in Argentina and Australia. Corn eased while soybeans ticked higher as investors awaited a...