Senior White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, on the upcoming G7 summit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

US President Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow late Thursday that Washington and Beijing were coming to the final stages in negotiations over the so-called Phase-1 of a trade agreement as the two sides remained in close contact.

Close But Not Yet

Kudlow told media in DC that a deal was within reach but “not done yet,” adding that top White House trade advisers met on Thursday evening to discuss how the talks with China proceed.

“We are coming down to the short strokes. We are in communication with them every single day right now,” Kudlow said.

China Keeps Stimulating the Frail Economy

The People’s Bank of China on Friday released 200 billion yuan (nearly 28.60 billion US dollar) to the markets via its medium-term lending facility on Friday, for the second time this month. The central bank of the world’s second-largest economy stuck in a trade war with the US kept its lending rates on hold.

Hong Kong Falls Into Recession

Hong Kong entered a recession for the first time in over ten years in the third quarter of the year, data the city state’s government released on Friday showed. The two primary reasons behind the expected recession were the increasingly violent protests against the Beijing government’s encroachment and the Sino-US trade war.

The city’s GDP contracted by 3.2% in the July-September period from the previous quarter. The growth shrinkage for a second consecutive quarter meant a technical recession.

OPEC Forecasts Revised

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in a Thursday-published report that the cartel expected demand for oil to go down next year. OPEC showed that demand for its crude output would fall to an average of 29.58 million barrels per day in 2020, which is 1.12 million bpd less than this year. OPEC and its primary ally Russia have renewed their supply cut policy until March 2020.

US Crude Stocks

The US Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that crude oil inventories in the country increased by 2.2 million barrels last week, much exceeding the forecasts around 1.650 million-barrel rise. American crude production, too, hiked by 200,000 bpd to a weekly record of 12.8 million bpd, according to the EIA report.


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