Saturday, 07 December, 2019

World shares advance on upbeat comments on US-China trade

U.S. Senate Unanimously Passes Measure Backing Hong Kong U.S. Senate Unanimously Passes Measure Backing Hong Kong
Irene Mckinney | 23 November, 2019, 00:59

China resolutely opposes U.S. lawmakers' passing of a Hong Kong human rights bill and will never allow anyone to destroy Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Thursday.

Chairman of the Hong Kong Association of China Business Wong Ping also said USA enterprises will lose their most important and freest base in the Asia-Pacific if Hong Kong was rescinded its status as a separate customs territory because of the bill.

China has repeatedly urged the US side to earnestly respect China's sovereignty, stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and interfering in China's internal affairs.

Despite the mostly down week, the major US stock indexes are on track for strong gains this year. "The market needs a sense that there won't be an escalation in the trade war". That prompted Tokyo to impose controls on exports of certain materials used to make computer chips, a critically important industry for South Korea.

The Senate bill also lays out a process for the US president to impose sanctions and travel restrictions to those responsible for threatening or implementing arbitrary detention, torture, forced confession of any individual in Hong Kong, according to CNN.

A White House spokesman declined to comment on whether the president meant to sign or veto the legislation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told a visiting delegation on Friday that he hoped to work toward a resolution of the dispute, though Beijing was not "afraid" and would "fight back" if necessary.

"Especially when the White House expressed eagerness to reach a deal in the trade talks, and when the U.S. Senate didn't seem to have a sense of urgency in discussing the Hong Kong rights bill, the CCP wishfully interpreted these as hopeful signs that it could do whatever it wanted without any consequences", Heng said.

The bill will require the U.S. Secretary of State to certify every year that Hong Kong retains sufficient autonomy from Beijing to warrant its special trade status, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Climate Change Is Making Us Sick
Meteorologists say human-caused climate change is increasing the "frequency and severity" of risky bushfire conditions. The report notes that harvests will shrink as temperatures rise, threatening food security and driving up food prices.

The US Senate has unanimously adopted legislation that aims to protect civil rights in Hong Kong and will punish those deemed responsible for suppressing freedoms in the semi-autonomous city. Since the siege began Sunday, more than 1,000 people were arrested and hundreds of injured treated at hospitals, authorities said.

The bill's passage, along with China's retaliatory statement, hit Hong Kong stocks as of Wednesday, with the Hang Seng Index losing as much as 1.1% after surging 2.9% in two days, Bloomberg noted.

He urged Washington to reconsider, warning it would also hurt the interest of more than 1,000 American businesses in Asia's top financial hub.

The selling nudged the major US stock indexes off their recent all-time highs.

Schwab's shares gained 6.8 per cent.

Energy sector stocks were the biggest winners, benefiting from another pickup in crude oil prices.

At 10:15 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 81.33 points, or 0.29%, at 27,852.69, the S&P 500 was down 5.91 points, or 0.19%, at 3,114.27 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 9.38 points, or 0.11%, at 8,561.28. It rose $1.57 to settle at $58.58 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude oil, the global standard, was flat at $60.91 per barrel after dropping $1.53 overnight.

The dollar was flat at 108.61 Japanese yen.

The euro was down 0.14% to $1.1063 while the pound sterling slipped 0.04% to $1.2921.

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