Australian stocks rise in anticipation of US-China trade talks

Australian stocks rose on Monday morning as investors were on the look out for developments on the US-China trade talks set to continue in Beijing later in the week.

US-China trade talks Source: Bloomberg

On Monday, the ASX 200 rose 0.17% with most sectors seeing gains. Rio Tinto gained 1.46% as the materials subindex jumped around 1.3%. Other major miners also advanced. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd rose 2.65% and BHP Billiton climbed up 1.59%.

US-China trade talks in Beijing this week

A new round of negotiations is set to be held in Beijing later this week, as investors have their eyes pinned to the updates.

Despite the anticipation, the two countries have not yet put together a draft on matters in conflict, according to US media reports.

Both Washington and Beijing aim to strike a deal on trade before the March 1 deadline, as US president Donald Trump has promised more tariffs on Chinese imports to the US, if no deal was reached by deadline.

Trump said on Thursday he did not have plans to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping before the deadline, causing volatility in the markets.

The most recent set of negotiations finished up in Washington without a deal, after the top US negotiator declared more work needed to be done.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow also said there is a "pretty sizable distance to go" before the two countries could reach a deal.

What’s being negotiated?

White House officials said on Friday that preparations were under way, as the talks focus on Beijing making structural reforms around how it treats American companies.

US negotiators will press China during the talks, pushing for intellectual property reforms. The US has problems with unfair trade practices, accusing China of forcing US companies to share their technology with Chinese firms. China has denied it engages in such practices.

Lower-level officials begin the meetings today, led by deputy US trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish, while higher-level talks take place Thursday and Friday with US trade representative robert Lighthizer and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin.


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