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Dow Creeps Higher as China Unveils Roadmap for ‘Ultimate’ Trade Deal

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:09 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:09 PM

The Dow ticked higher on Thursday in response to positive news on the Brexit front, while elsewhere, China unveiled a roadmap to the “ultimate” trade deal that Wall Street desires.

Dow Edges Higher After Defending 27,000

Wall Street’s three major indices opened to moderate gains, offsetting the minor losses incurred during the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 89.7 points or 0.33% to 27,091.68.

dow jones industrial average chart
The Dow crept higher on Thursday. | Source: Yahoo Finance

The S&P 500 advanced 14.69 points or 0.49% to 3,004.38. Ten of 11 primary sectors reported gains, led by communication services (+0.66%).

The Nasdaq raced 53.41 points or 0.66% higher to 8,177.59. Netflix headlined the index with a 7.21% surge.

China Lays Its Trade War Cards on the Table

Stocks rose after the European Union and the United Kingdom agreed on a draft Brexit deal, though gains were muted because there are serious doubts it will clear the British Parliament. The opposition Labour party torched it as “even worse” than Theresa May’s failed Brexit bid , and the government will likely struggle to secure votes from skeptical allies.

Meanwhile, Beijing offered investors a glimpse of its “ultimate goal” in the ongoing US-China trade war.

In a public statement from spokesman Gao Feng, China’s Ministry of Commerce laid its cards on the table, stating outright that it expects a final trade deal to include the complete elimination of all tariffs  imposed during the trade war, which began in July 2018.

“The ultimate goal for the negotiations between the two sides is to end the trade war, cancel all additional tariffs. This is good for China, good for the US and good for the whole world,” Gao said.

Even so, Gao confirmed that Beijing is open to achieving that mission in stages, beginning with the “phase one” trade deal that Chinese and American officials outlined last week in Washington. If all goes according to plan, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping should sign the final version of that partial deal in mid-November.

However, far from rolling back tariffs, the White House currently plans to impose new tariffs on more than $150 billion worth of Chinese goods on Dec. 15. There’s also the looming threat of tariff increases previously scheduled to take effect on Oct. 15. The US delayed those tariffs  after last week’s negotiations, but the Trump administration could reintroduce them if progress stalls on the partial deal.

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