Tariff reprieve fails to cheer HSI

Business | Agencies and Kevin Xu 15 Aug 2019

Global shares and the yuan rebounded after the United States announced a delay in fresh tariffs but investors saw it as a selling opportunity in Hong Kong as the Hang Seng Index closed practically flat, inching up by 21 points to 25,302.

Tariffs of 10 percent were due to be imposed on the remaining US$300 billion (HK2.34 trillion) of annual imports from China on September 1, but some will now only come into effect on December 15, the US Trade Representative's Office announced. Among the items getting a reprieve are mobile phones, laptop computers and clothing, and it's estimated that about half of the US$300 billion of goods will benefit from the delay.

US President Donald Trump told reporters that the decision to defer the tariffs on a range of mainly consumer goods was to protect US consumers from price increases ahead of Christmas holiday shopping.

The yuan rallied to its strongest in a week against the greenback on the news and was trading offshore at 7.0372 per dollar.

Meanwhile, Chinese officials are sticking to their plan to visit Washington in September for face-to-face trade meetings, people familiar with the matter said.

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