China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday that Beijing and Washington agreed in the past two weeks to simultaneously cancel existing tariffs imposed during much of the months-long trade war in different phases as talks progress.

Tariffs to be Lifted

The ministry’s spokesman Gao Feng said the tariffs would be lifted to reach the so-called Phase-1 trade deal. “The trade war started with tariffs, and should end with the cancellation of tariffs,” Gao told media.

The positive news came hours after news came that a long-hoped summit between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign a preliminary trade deal could be delayed to December.

An official from the Trump administration told Reuters on Wednesday the reason was continued discussions over the deal’s terms and venue, adding an agreement could still not be possible but reaching one was likelier. The news rebalanced the earlier optimistic mood in the markets.

BoE Policy, Rates Under Review

The Bank of England (BoE) is meeting on Thursday to debate its monetary policy and interest rates amid unabated domestic and global trade risks. The BoE is most likely expected to keep its 0.75 percent rate on hold though eyes will be on the statements by the members to see if they want to follow the rate-slashing path their American and European counterparts have entered.

Kuroda Acknowledges Inflation Targeting Takes Time

The Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated on Thursday that the central bank would go ahead with a massive monetary easing program to achieve its 2% inflation target. Testifying in front of lawmakers at the Japanese Parliament he said reaching to inflation goal was taking time.

China’s Blockchain Ambitions

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement Thursday that the use of blockchain technology was to solve the problems related to information asymmetry in trade financing. The PBOC that is pursuing a to launch its own blockchain technology hopes to reduce risks for financial institutions, and cut financing costs for importers and exporters.

Iran Continues Uranium Enrichment

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) confirmed Thursday that it resumed uranium enrichment at the country’s underground Fordow nuclear facility in line with Tehran’s policy of gradually breaking away from the 2015 nuclear deal.

“After all successful preparations, injection of uranium gas to centrifuges started on Thursday at Fordow. All the process has been supervised by the inspectors of the UN nuclear watchdog,” an AEOI statement said according to the Iranian media.

US Crude Stocks

US crude oil stockpiles that showed an increase of 7.9 million barrels last week versus the analysts’ expectations of 1.5 million barrels rise, data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed.


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