From left, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha prepare to pose for a group photo at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN Plus Three summit in Nonthaburi, Thailand, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

The US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross told media on Sunday that he was “quite optimistic” that remaining contentious issues in the first phase of US-China trade talks could be resolved soon.

Another avenue for Trump-Xi meeting

Speaking at the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Thailand’s Bangkok, he added that President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping still planned to meet later this month after the earlier scheduled meeting in Chile was canceled due to protests in the South American nation. The meeting venue could be Alaska or Iowa, Ross said.

Saudi Aramco launches IPO

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia formally launched its initial public offering of a small part of Saudi Aramco after years of postponement. The Kingdom’s rulers hope to push Aramco’s share prices toward a desired 2 trillion US dollars, analysts talking to the AP said.

US jobs ‘blowout’

US Labor Department data on Friday showed that the economy added 128,000 new jobs in October in contrast to the 85K expectations. The figure once again proved the resilience of the American economy despite the trade wars and a strike action at General Motors. President Trump described the addition in jobs as a ‘blowout.’

The unemployment rate in the US went up slightly to 3.6% from the historic low of 3.5% in September, which was the lowest since 1969. The data supported the US Federal Reserve’s remarks that the economy is in good shape.

Stocks fare well

The New York-based stock markets S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite set on Friday their all-time intraday highs at 3,066.95 and 8,386.75 respectively.

The German DAX on Monday jumped up above the psychologically important 13,000 mark for the first time since June 2018. The leading European index made the gains largely on the prospects of a partial Sino-US trade deal sometime later this month. Additionally, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said US tariffs on car imports from Europe and Asia could be avoided.

SK-Japan dialogue

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the sidelines of ASEAN in Bangkok, Thailand. Both leaders whose countries are in a highly controversial diplomatic and commercial row ‘reaffirmed’ that bilateral issues be resolved through dialogue, according to official statements.

New Zealand-China deal

New Zealand’s trade ministry said on Monday it concluded a deal with China to upgrade their free trade agreement that the countries have been negotiating for years. The deal, a statement by the ministry said, would reduce compliance costs for NZ exports into China by millions of dollars each year, making the trade easier.

Lagarde’s first speech

The new President of the European Central Bank (ECB) is scheduled to give her first speech as the bank’s new president on Monday.


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