Asian markets soar on hopes of end to US-China trade war

Chinese President Xi Jinping had an "extremely positive" phone conversation with US President Donald Trump about trade and other issues, the foreign ministry said Friday. Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina.

The direct talks were the first between the two leaders to have been reported since May.

But within hours of the upbeat assessments, the US Justice Department took aim at another Chinese firm it accused of unfair practices, part of an across-the-board pressure campaign by the Trump administration targeting China.

The two leaders agreed the trade dispute "should be handled properly through substantial consultation", Lu said.

Bloomberg later reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Trump wants to reach a trade agreement with China at the G20 meeting and that after the call with Xi he had asked officials to begin drafting potential terms.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a dispute over United States complaints that China is using predatory tactics in a drive to supplant American technological dominance.

Asian stocks rose sharply on Friday on hopes of a trade deal between the United States and China. "I am very cautious regarding the outcome of their meeting". Beijing would be unwilling to risk jeopardising its improving relations with Pyongyang and as a result had "very few tools to work with", he said.

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The yuan is continuing to push forward with gains against the greenback as talks of a US-China trade resolution continues to fuel the rally seen in the past two days. "But the leadership summit could lay the groundwork for how to proceed".

"He wants to do it", Trump said of Xi.

The US also sued to stop the companies from exporting to America any products that were created using the trade secrets.

The United States has targeted US$250 billion ($375.5b) in Chinese products, and Beijing has lashed back by slapping tariffs on US$110 million worth of U.S. goods.

The Trump administration this year has already imposed tariffs on US$250 billion (S$343.73 billion) in trade with China and is threatening to impose tariffs on all remaining imports from China, which last year were worth US$505 billion.

Dealers were set for a strong end to a healthy week after Mr Trump's tweet, which was a rare sign of hope in the months-long stand-off between the world's top two economies that many fear could batter global growth. While Beijing is open to striking a deal that narrows the trade deficit, officials have resisted Trump's other demands - including an end to subsidies for strategic industries, a stop to forced technology transfer and more competition for state-owned enterprises.

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