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Chinese officials said on Wednesday that China and France signed trade contracts of up to 15 billion US dollars during a visit by President Emmanuel Macron.

China ramps up trade with Europe

Macron was in Shanghai where he attended an international import expo fair. Aeronautics, energy and agriculture were among the fields Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the contracts with Macron.

BoJ stimulus dilemma

Minutes released on Wednesday from the Bank of Japan’s September policy meeting showed that board members discussed whether expanding stimulus was a feasible option. Some of the board members urged the need to begin brainstorming ideas regarding the stimulus.

However, some other members warned that more caution was needed to review the disadvantages of long-running ultra-low interest rates.

“A comprehensive examination was needed on the chance that financial institutions’ profitability will decline further, and an increasing number of them would take excessive risks,” the minutes quoted a member as saying during the meeting when the BOJ kept its policy and interest rates on hold but gave signals of near-term easing by warning against risks stemming from the trade wars.

US services confidence boosts mood

The ISM non-manufacturing sector index, a survey on the US service sector released on Tuesday showed that business sentiment in the world’s largest economy improved in October compared to the three-year low in September. The index rose to 54.7 from 52.6 in September in a move much better than the expectations.

Iran begins gas injection into centrifuges

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani confirmed on Tuesday that Tehran will restart injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at its vast underground Fordow nuclear enrichment facility. The move came despite calls otherwise from the European nations not to further breach the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers.

US crude stocks sees unexpected rise

Crude oil inventories in the US increased by 4.3 million barrels in the week that ended on November 1 to 440.5 million barrels, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) released on Tuesday showed. The figure is almost three times higher than analysts’ forecasts. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due to release its own data later on Wednesday.

Johnson in call with Trump

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told US President Donald Trump to reverse the tariffs on British goods including Scotch whisky, a statement by Number 10 said. In a phone call to Trump, Johnson also urged him not to impose tariffs on car exports.

Washington put in place 25 percent-high tariffs on EU goods, including Scotch whisky last month in response to EU subsidies to the aircraft-maker Airbus.

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