Stocks Recover on Trump Trade Tweet: ‘Big Day of Negotiations With China’

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie President Donald Trump

With the agreement the White House will hold off on a massive tariff increase planned for next week, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters.

"It's not much and it doesn't get us very far in the big issues, so whether it will lead to anything important is still very unclear", said Barry Naughton, an expert on China's economy at the University of California, San Diego.

Stocks ended higher Friday after President Donald Trump said China and the US reached the first phase of a substantial trade deal that delays tariff hikes that were set to kick in next week.

Discussions from the opening day of round 13 of negotiations are reported to have revolved around additional U.S. agricultural purchases by China, an understanding on currency issues, intellectual property and market access.

The tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports was set to rise Tuesday from 25% to 30%.

"I believe that there's even the possibility of a currency agreement this week", Myron Brilliant, the head of worldwide affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, told the media.

Friday's initial agreement - which included increasing U.S. farm product purchases, and also covers intellectual property, financial services and currencies - finally breaks an 18-month trade spat.

However, the announcement came with a rider that the agreement was still to be put on to the paper, which will take somewhere between three to five weeks. A partial agreement, while not solving the scope of disputes between the two countries or addressing the thorny disagreements surrounding intellectual property, could help build confidence towards a larger deal.

Trump told press Thursday afternoon that he thinks negotiations are "going really well" and Friday morning, he tweeted that one of the "great things" about a possible deal is that it doesn't need congressional approval, like the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which has not been ratified by Congress.

"It's such a big deal that doing it in sections, in phases, is really better", he said during a White House meeting with Liu He, China's vice premier.

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China has agreed to buy $US40 billion to $US50 billion in USA farm products as the world's two biggest economies reached a ceasefire in their 15-month trade war.

China has agreed to buy $40 billion to $50 billion in US farm products as part of the deal.

Media reports this week have drawn the contours of a partial deal that, while not addressing Trump's core grievances about China's trade practices, would offer something for both sides.

But to get there, the two sides need to address issues such as scaling back Chinese government subsidies that have skewed competition, and opening up sectors dominated by state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

J.P. Morgan analysts said they are expecting a no-deal status quo while "market investors also have high hopes for a mini-deal".

Business groups expressed relief that the negotiations appeared to be making progress after more than a year of sputtering, yet they acknowledged that the agreement fell short of the sweeping deal that Trump had promised.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 400 points (1.6 percent) and the S&P 500 gained 1.7 percent in early trading. "However, we will not be fully satisfied until President Trump removes all of the China 301 import taxes hitting American families and American businesses".

This week, the U.S. Commerce Department blacklisted 28 Chinese entities including eight technology and surveillance firms, over their involvement in human rights abuses in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang.

If Friday's negotiations and Oval Office meeting go well, Trump and Liu could also begin laying the groundwork for a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at next month's APEC summit in the Santiago, Chile.

Similarly, American Apparel and Footwear Association president and CEO Rick Helfenbein said the organization "welcomes the president's decision" but added that "the reality is that everything now being hit with punitive tariffs is still being charged".

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