Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trade talks, Covid treatment help markets post fresh gains

Trade talks, Covid treatment help markets post fresh gains

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
There had been concerns about the future of the trade pact as Sino-US relations grow increasingly fraught over issues including Hong Kong, Covid-19, Huawei and TikTok. AFP

Trade talks, Covid treatment help markets post fresh gains

Asian and European markets mostly rose on Tuesday with investors taking reassurance from news that China and the US had agreed to press on with their trade pact, while hopes for a virus treatment provided extra support.

The gains followed yet another record day on Wall Street as coronavirus cases appear to be slowing in the US, but also as Europe sees a worrying surge and as Hong Kong researchers identified what they said was the first confirmed case of re-infection.

China and the US provided dealers with some much-needed cheer after announcing top representatives had held phone talks on their trade agreement signed in January.

There had been concerns about the future of the deal as the countries’ relations grow increasingly fraught over issues including Hong Kong, the virus, Huawei and TikTok.

But on Tuesday, the Ministry of Commerce said Vice-Premier Liu He spoke to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and both sides “agreed to create conditions and atmosphere to continue to push forward the implementation of the phase-one of the China-US economic and trade agreement”.

The US side added in a separate statement that the two had discussed steps China had agreed to address in the agreement, including intellectual property and forced technology transfer.

It said: “The parties also discussed the significant increases in purchases of US products by China as well as future actions needed to implement the agreement.

“Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement.”

While there was an expectation the deal would remain intact, the news will take away one key matter of concern for investors.

Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore all jumped more than one per cent, while Sydney gained 0.5 per cent and Taipei put on 0.9 per cent with Mumbai gaining 0.1 per cent. Manila, Bangkok and Jakarta were also higher.

London, Paris and Frankfurt all rose in the morning. However, Hong Kong and Shanghai ended slightly lower.

Markets were already buoyant on growing optimism that a vaccine for the coronavirus is close, with US President Donald Trump said to be considering fast-tracking an experimental treatment from Britain that could be ready for use by November.

That followed news that the US Food and Drug Administration is looking to expand access to a virus treatment involving blood plasma from recovered patients.

Stephen Innes at AxiCorp said: “A vaccine and possible treatment raise hope that in the not-too-distant future, symptoms of Covid-19 infections may become relatively mild, like a cough and runny nose caused by influenza, and possibly the vaccine could even provide a cure.

“But in either outcome, the Covid-19 flu will no longer pose a significant health risk, and the economy could return to standard quicker. Indeed, the ultimate one-stop recession plugger could be but a trip to your local clinic.”

Attention is on this week’s virtual meeting of central bankers, with the key event being a speech by US Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell, hoping he provides an update on the world’s top economy and some forward guidance on his plans for monetary policy.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Woman seeks answers after arrest of American partner

    Filipina Lalaine de Guzman, 48, is demanding answers for the detention of her American partner by Cambodian immigration officers after he was arrested at their home almost 90 days ago. She said without an arrest warrant or proffering any criminal charges, Stephen Sidney Greatsinger, 56, is being detained