Asian shares extend gains on hopes for trade breakthrough

US destroyer sails in disputed South China Sea amid trade talks

U.S. -CHINA TALKS: Official statements released after the talks, which lasted a day longer than planned, did not indicate if progress was made on a tariffs battle that has shaken global financial markets.

As per the Chinese Commerce Ministry statement, both countries "conducted extensive, in-depth and meticulous exchanges on trade issues and structural issues of common concern, which enhanced mutual understanding and laid the foundation for resolving mutual concerns".

The two sides agreed to keep close contact, according to the statement.

Trump has said he would increase those duties to 25% from 10% if no deal is reached by March 2, and has threatened to tax all imports from China if it fails to cede to United States demands. Liu made a brief appearance at the talks in Beijing on Monday, boosting optimism that China was serious about making progress.

"We are moving towards a more balanced and reciprocal trade agreement with China", she said, adding that no one knows yet what that agreement will look like or when it will be ready.

China and the US will move ahead with trade talks as scheduled, Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing at a regular weekly briefing Thursday, without giving any further details over when they would take place.

Negotiations between the USA and China in Beijing this week on trade were "extensive, in-depth and detailed", and laid the foundation for the resolution of issues of mutual concern, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Thursday. The delegation, led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, extended its stay for an additional day; talks had originally been scheduled to conclude on January 8.

While differences remain, experts are optimistic that the two sides will be able to reach an agreement on trade by March 1, the deadline before the U.S. imposes heightened tariffs on Chinese goods.

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U.S. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, center, who is part of U.S. trade delegation leaves from a hotel for a second day of meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

Trump, a Republican, has accused China of cheating the United States on trade and stealing U.S. intellectual property, though he often has said he has a good personal rapport with Xi.

The World Bank this week cut its outlook for the global economy as growth in trade and investment slowed and rising interest rates sapped momentum, especially in emerging markets.

The US Trade Representative's office said officials broached those topics and discussed the need for any agreement to include "complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement". Trump has complained repeatedly about the US trade deficit with China, which past year likely exceeded the 2017 gap of $336 billion. More senior-level discussions could take place this month, with the South China Morning Post reporting that Trump and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan may meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

While Chinese goods going to the USA initially held up in the face of higher tariffs due to so-called front-loading, their value slumped in the final quarter of 2018, according to the latest available data.

Companies in both countries just want to see a deal get done. "I really believe they want to make a deal".

Chinese exports to the U.S. have held up despite tariff increases, partly due to exporters rushing to fill orders before more increases hit.

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