US soybeans extend gains amid continued trade optimism

Soybean farmer Raymond Schexnayder Jr. overlooks his farm outside Baton Rouge in Erwinville Louisiana US in this file

Soybean farmer Raymond Schexnayder Jr. overlooks his farm outside Baton Rouge in Erwinville Louisiana US in this file

Asian stock markets rallied on Wednesday as U.S. President Donald trump sounded upbeat about a trade deal with China, while sterling struggled with the risk of an imminent party coup against British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Wang didn't mention Meng by name. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou over alleged sanctions violations.

Tuesday's reports in USA media, which were based on anonymous sources including a vehicle industry executive, said China outlined the plan on a recent telephone call between top trade negotiators from the two countries.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing was planning to reduce import tariffs on US-made cars and purchase more American soybeans and other crops.

The step hasn't been finalized and could still change.

Global markets had whipsawed since then, with little sign that China was making the substantial purchases of US farm, energy and industrial products that Trump said would start immediately after the meeting.

"Both sides exchanged views on putting into effect the consensus reached by the two countries' leaders at their meeting, and pushing forward the timetable and roadmap for the next stage of economic and trade consultations work", the ministry said, without elaborating.

The trader said China was seeking to buy a total of 2.5 million to 3 million tonnes of US soybeans.

Top Chinese and American trade officials spoke by phone Tuesday morning Beijing time, signaling that dialog between the two nations on trade issues is at least continuing despite the ongoing tension over Huawei.

"While traders have responded positively to comments from China providing a semi-road map going forward, they are waiting for something concrete".

Markets were careful to not get too optimistic and MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan firmed a modest 0.27 percent. "And therefore tension between China and US will continue".

Yet there were also reports the US would release evidence this week detailing Chinese hacking and economic espionage.

Investors have been skeptical about the progress made toward ending a trade dispute that has disrupted the flow of hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars of goods between the world's two largest economies. That's piled pressure on companies that have relied on the country for growth amid declining sales in the U.S. It may actually matter more to foreign automakers with factories in the US than for Ford and General Motors (GM). "It looks like we're back in business now", the second trader said.

Also, Trump said he expects China to soon cut tariffs on U.S. autos to 15 percent from the current 40 percent level. They are the largest exporters of China-bound sport utility vehicles from the USA and significant importers of luxury sedans into the US, said Jeff Schuster, the president of global forecasting for LMC Automotive.

American farmers, especially soybean farmers, have been hit hard by China's retaliatory tariffs.

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