Investors are also dissecting the July jobsOpens a New Window. report which showed 164,000 nonfarm jobs were created in July. That was in line with expectations.
An escalating trade war between the US and China threw the stock market into chaos early Monday.
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 600 points after China said it will hike tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods — a tit-for-tat response to President Donald Trump’s hike of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods last week.
China said it will impose tariffs on its US imports of to up to 25 percent on June 1. Many of the items, which had been subject to 10 percent tariffs, affected the US agricultural industry.
The Dow was recently off 632.62 points, or 2.4 percent, at 25,309.75. Market indexes were all down sharply as of 11:38 am ET, with the S&P 500 and tech-weighted Nasdaq plunging 2.4 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
American businesses and consumers will pay more for many Chinese imports after the U.S. increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods Thursday night. There is now a 25 percent tariff on Chinese products worth a total of $250 billion. The Trump administration raised tariffs in the middle of the trade talks that continue today in Washington.
(Reuters) – A senior U.S. Treasury official said on Friday that China has been intervening to keep its yuan currency from falling more than it otherwise would and that the sooner Beijing lets the market work, the better for China.
The official, who spoke to a group of reporters but asked not to be named, urged Beijing to allow the currency to rise and fall freely.
The comments preceded a state visit to Washington by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sept. 25, in which Xi and President Barack Obama will discuss economic ties between the two countries as well as their increasingly testy relationship over security matters.
Washington has long urged Beijing to let the yuan appreciate, arguing that China was using a weak currency to make its goods cheaper in America.
But China these days is facing doubts in financial markets over the strength of its economy. The Treasury official said China’s decision to loosen restrictions on currency trading last month, which prompted a sharp fall in the yuan’s value, appeared to be perceived in markets as having the intention to prop up China’s economy, sowing further doubts among investors.
The official said China should not feel like it needs to step in and stop declines in financial markets every time investors send it signals about the economy.
He said China’s commitment to letting market forces play a bigger role in the value of the yuanwill earn more credibility when it allows market forces to push its value up. (Reporting byJason Lange; Editing by James Dalgleish, Andrew Hay and Leslie Adler)
New York (CNN Money) — It’s no secret that China is the largest holder of U.S. debt.
So should Americans be concerned that China has started dumping some of its Treasury holdings?
After all, it raises serious questions about whether China will keep lending Washington money to help finance the federal deficit in the future.
But right now, China is selling because it’s in dire need of cash. Recently, it unleashed multiple moves to support its markets and prevent its currency from a freefall, while at the same time trying to stimulate the economy.
China yanks record sum from war chest
China owned $1.3 trillion of U.S. Treasuries as of June, making it the biggest holder of U.S. debt.
But China’s foreign-exchange reserves plunged by a record $94 billion in August, according to the country’s central bank, leaving it with a war chest of $3.6 trillion. Analysts say it’s very safe to believe a big chunk of that decline occurred due to a reduction in U.S. Treasury holdings.
The selling and the potential that China will not be buying U.S. debt in the near future raises questions on its potential to increase America’s borrowing costs.
Some of this might already be happening, at least at a small scale. When stock markets are turbulent, investors usually rush to the safety of U.S. Treasurys and yields fall. However, despite August’s extreme stock volatility, rates on Treasurys actually rose slightly in late August.
Part of that move is likely due to Wall Street betting the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates next week. But market participants also suspect the unusual action in the bond market was driven by China dumping Treasuries.
China is raising lots of cash
This time, Beijing is cutting its Treasury holdings out of a weakened position as it tries to stave off more declines in its currency. China is also propping up its stock market, which lost half its value in the span of just a few months this summer.
“Capital outflows have skyrocketed in China and the yuan is under intense selling pressure. The only thing they could do is sell Treasuries to buy their own currency,” said Walter Zimmerman, chief technical analyst at United-ICAP.
China isn’t trying to sink the U.S. economy
There have long been concerns that China could sink the American economy by unloading its gigantic holdings of Treasuries, sending borrowing costs skyrocketing.
Thankfully, those doomsday fears don’t appear to be at play here yet.
“If China’s U.S. Treasury stock is a nuclear bomb, moderate sales to offset selling pressure on the yuan are unlikely to set off an explosion,” Michael McDonough, chief economist at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a recent report.
But moves could raise borrowing costs here
Still, China’s sales could make Treasury yields higher than they would normally be. That’s of concern because Treasury rates are used as a benchmark that set the cost of borrowing for items like credit cards and mortgages.
While it’s “not the end of the world,” SkyBridge Capital senior portfolio manager Troy Gayeski said higher yields could lead to a “slowdown in the housing recovery.”
What’s key is how much cash China ultimately needs to raise to defend its currency and stock market. No one, not even China, knows that figure.
China may go on a U.S. debt diet
So far, the American bond market seems to be taking the China move in stride.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is currently sitting at 2.22%, about unchanged from a month ago.
Demand for U.S. debt is healthy now especially when compared to the ultra-low, or even negative rates in other economic powerhouses like Germany and Japan.
Policymakers in Washington should hope that trend continues. Now that China’s economy is in disarray, America might not be able to count on its No. 1 lender to gobble up U.S. debt like in the past.
“China’s surplus is slowing. That gives them less firepower to accumulate Treasuries,” said Thomas Urano, managing director at Sage Advisory.
If you export to China, the latest headlines are not good news.
After a decade of rapid growth, China’s appetite for goods and raw materials from the rest of the world appears to be slowing. And that’s left companies and countries that sell to China wondering just how badly their orders may shrink.
On Tuesday, Beijing reported that China’s giant manufacturing sector contracted at the fastest pace in three years. A separate private survey of smaller firms showed the factories slowing to the weakest pace in more than six years.
The slowdown is hitting China’s biggest suppliers and major trade partners hardest. In August, exports from South Korea tumbled by nearly 15 percent—the most in six years.
For U.S. exporters, China represents the third-largest market—behind Canada and Mexico—accounting for $120 billion worth of goods last year. But that trade represents only 7 percent of U.S. exports—or less than 1 percent of total gross domestic product, according to economists at Wells Fargo Securities.
“Even when indirect effects are considered, the United States simply does not seem to have significant economic and financial exposure to China,” they wrote in a recent note to clients.
But that impact varies widely from one U.S. state to another, with West Coast states more heavily reliant on Chinese markets.
Among the most dependent states: Washington, which sold roughly 20 percent of its exports to China last year, or nearly $10 billion worth of goods. Airplanes, the state’s largest export by far, made up the bulk of the state’s sales to China.
California exported some $16 billion to mainland China last year, with computers and electronics accounting for nearly 28 percent of the total. Texas was the third-largest exporter to China, with nearly $11 billion worth of products that included chemicals, computers and machinery.
Alaska, which exports a smaller volume of goods, last year sent a bigger share—some 28 percent—to China. Roughly half of Alaska’s $1.5 billion in exports to China last year consisted of seafood.
U.S. farm states are also big exporters to China, which is the biggest for American agricultural products. Some 20 percent of all U.S. farm exports are sold to China, which bought $30 billion worth of foods products in fiscal year 2014, including soybeans, distillers’ grains, hides and skins, tree nuts, coarse grains, cotton and beef, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
While the total impact of Chinese exports is a relatively small share of U.S. GDP, sales have grown faster than any other trading partner on the last decade—nearly tripling between 2005 and 2014. U.S. exports Canada rose 47 percent growth and exports to Mexico roughly doubled.
President Xi Jinping announced on Thursday he would cut troop levels by 300,000 asChina held its biggest display of military might in a parade to commemorate victory overJapan in World War Two, an event shunned by most Western leaders.
China’s confidence in its armed forces and growing military assertiveness, especially in the disputed South China Sea, has rattled the region and drawn criticism from Washington.
Xi, speaking on a rostrum overlooking Beijing’s Tiananmen Square before the parade began, said China would cut by 13 percent one of the world’s biggest militaries, currently 2.3-million strong.
The Defence Ministry said the cuts would be mostly complete by the end of 2017. The move is likely part of long-mooted military rationalization plans, which have included spending more money on high-tech weapons for the navy and air force. Troop numbers have been cut three times already since the 1980s.
“Prejudice and discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and pain,” Xi said under a clear blue sky. “China will always uphold the path of peaceful development.”
He then descended to Beijing’s main thoroughfare and inspected rows of troops, riding past them in a black limousine and bellowing repeatedly: “Hello comrades, hard-working comrades!”
More than 12,000 soldiers, mostly Chinese but with contingents from Russia and elsewhere, then marched down Changan Avenue, led by veterans of World War Two carried in vehicles.
They were followed by ballistic missiles, tanks and armored vehicles, many never seen in public before. Advanced fighter jets and bombers flew overhead in a highly choreographed spectacle that lasted around 90 minutes.
Among the weapons China unveiled for the first time was an anti-ship ballistic missile, the Dongfeng-21D, which is reportedly capable of destroying an aircraft carrier with one hit.
Also shown were several intercontinental ballistic missiles such as the DF-5B and the DF-31A as well as the DF-26 intermediate range ballistic missile, dubbed the “Guam killer” in reference to a U.S. Pacific Ocean base.
SIGN OF STRENGTH
Greg Austin, a professorial fellow at the East-West Institute in New York, said the troop cuts had nothing to do with curbing military power.
“It’s a determination to expand military power by redirecting money to higher impact, higher technologies, which can have more strategic effect,” he said, referring to the maritime, cyber and space frontiers.
Peng Guangqian, deputy head of China’s Council for National Security Policy Studies, said the equipment on display was intended to show the combat readiness of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
“This indicates a change of the PLA training strategy; with more focus on actual combat,” Peng told the official Xinhua news agency.
China is also building two aircraft carriers that will be the same size as its sole carrier, a 60,000-tonne refurbished Soviet-era ship, according to a report on the PLA by the Defence Ministry in neighboring, self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own. Chinese state media have hinted new vessels are being built.
For Xi, the parade was a welcome distraction from the country’s plunging stock markets, slowing economic growth and recent blasts at a chemical warehouse that killed at least 160 people.
Xi was joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of several other nations with close ties to China, including Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
Most Western leaders rebuffed invitations to attend, diplomats said, unhappy about the guest list and wary of the message China would send with the show of strength.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not attend the parade, which was held one day after the 70th anniversary of Tokyo’s surrender in World War Two.
China’s government repeatedly said the parade was not aimed at today’s Japan, but to remember the past and to remind the world of China’s huge sacrifices during the conflict.
However, it rarely misses an opportunity to draw attention to Japan’s wartime role. On Wednesday, Xi said Japanese invaders before and during World War Two behaved with barbarity.
CHINESE NAVY IN BERING SEA
Xi has set great store on China’s military modernization, including developing an ocean-going “blue water” navy capable of defending the country’s growing global interests.
In a sign of that emerging capability, five Chinese Navy ships were sailing in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, at a time when U.S. President Barack Obama is touring the state.
China’s Defence Ministry said the ships were there as part of routine drills not aimed at any particular country.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said it was the first time the United States had seen Chinese navy ships in the Bering Sea.
“It is living up to what the Chinese have been saying, ‘We are now a blue water navy. We will operate in the far seas and we are a global presence’,” said Dean Cheng, a Chinaexpert at the Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington.
Xi will meet Obama in Washington for talks later this month that will be dominated by a host of issues, including China’s growing military reach.
Beijing was locked down to ensure nothing went wrong at the parade, with much of the downtown off-limits, a three-day holiday declared and ordinary people kept well away.
“This parade and patriotism are two separate things,” said Mi Guoxian, who had come to Beijing for a wedding, standing on a nearly deserted street behind a line of police.
“This is for the national leaders.”
(Additional reporting by Michael Martina and Meng Meng in BEIJING, Matt Siegel in SYDNEY, Kaori Kaneko in TOKYO, J.R. Wu in Taipei and Phil Stewart in WASHINGTON; Editing by Dean Yates and Nick Macfie)
Chinese authorities have evacuated more than 1.1 million people as a typhoon heads to its southeastern coast.
BEIJING – A typhoon pounded the Chinese coast south of Shanghai on Saturday with strong winds and heavy rainfall, submerging roads, felling trees and forcing the evacuation of 1.1 million people.
Typhoon Chan-hom slammed ashore with winds of up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour near Zhoushan, a city east of the port of Ningbo in Zhejiang province. It has dumped more than 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain since late Friday — about a month’s average in less than 24 hours, China Central Television and the Xinhua News Agency reported.
No deaths or injuries have been reported by Saturday evening.
“It was so windy that the rain came in through the windows even though they were closed,” Zhoushan resident Zhang Zhouqun, 53, manager of a logistics company, said in a telephone interview.
The storm felled 10-year-old trees in his neighborhood, stranded cars in 60-centimeter (2-foot) -deep water and swamped half the fields, Zhang said. Police were out barring people from trying to drive. At the urging of local officials, Zhang’s family had stocked up a few days’ worth of groceries, he said.
Some 1.1 million people had been evacuated from coastal areas of Zhejiang and more than 46,000 in neighboring Jiangsu province ahead of the storm, Xinhua said. The provincial flood control bureau said 28,764 ships had been ordered back to port.
The national weather service said earlier the typhoon might be the strongest to strike China since the communist government took power in 1949. It initially was deemed a super-typhoon but was downgraded at midday Saturday to a strong typhoon and was weakening further as it moved inland.
Heavy downpour was reported in some areas, including the village of Lai’ao, which recorded more than 400 millimeters (16 inches) of rain, according to Xinhua.
More than 100 trains and 600 flights were canceled in the cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou and Taizhou, according to Xinhua. Buses and passenger ferries also suspended service.
Earlier, Chan-hom caused 20 injuries as it moved over islands in southern Japan, Kyodo news agency reported.
The storm dumped rain on the northern Philippines and Taiwan, where several flights were suspended. The stock market and public offices were closed Friday in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital.
Chan-hom is the second major storm to hit China this week, after Typhoon Linfa forced 56,000 people from their homes in the southern province of Guangdong province.
Positive news from overseas Greece-d Wall Street’s wheels on Friday, as traders cheered a possible resolution for the Greek economic crisis and a rebound in Chinese stocks.
The Dow climbed 212 points, or 1.2% to close at 17, 760. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also rose more than 1%.
“You had positive news flow, whether it was China or Greece,” Todd Salamone, senior vice president of research at Schaeffer’s Investment Research, told the Daily News.
The market reacted favorably to a proposal submitted by Greece on Thursday that makes substantial concessions to the country’s lenders.
The proposal includes raising taxes and eliminating some tax breaks. In exchange, Greece is looking to get $59 billion to cover its debts. On Friday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appealed to his party to back his reform package to save Greece from a financial meltdown.
Euro zone finance ministers are set to meet on Saturday to consider the plan and determine whether Athens will get a bailout.
Wall Street also got a lift from China, where stocks rallied strongly for the second day in a row thanks to government support measures. As of mid-week, panic selling in China had slashed one-third of the market’s value since its peak in June.
“There is optimism that Greece is opening up to accepting a deal which would let it stay in the EU. But to me, the fact that China staged a late week bounce is more meaningful,” Ryan Detrick, strategist at See It Market, told the News. “With both of these worries calming, it allowed the bulls to take charge.”
But investors could be in for a bumpy ride as the U.S. stock market is expected to continue to respond to headlines from overseas, Salamone said.
“Unfortunately, we don’t know what that news will be,” he said.
On the domestic front, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said on Friday that she expects the Fed to raise rates this year. But she also noted that the U.S. labor markets remain weak and that more workers could be brought back into the workforce with stronger economic growth.