What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?

G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires

G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires

The first round of comprehensive trade talks between the USA and China since the countries declared a tentative ceasefire late past year is set to continue for a third day, both sides confirmed on Tuesday.

The talks were seen as a litmus test of whether a lasting deal can be reached before March 2, when the Trump administration plans to hike tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.

There was no immediate US response to the Chinese complaint.

Although the talks were held at a vice ministerial level, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who has led trade negotiations with the United States and is a top economic adviser to Xi, made an unexpected appearance at the meetings on Monday, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Europe, Japan and other trading partners have echoed Washington's complaints that those violate Beijing's market-opening obligations. American leaders also worry they might erode United States industrial leadership. They have tried to defuse pressure for more sweeping change by offering trade concessions including purchasing more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports.

The US smartphone maker has felt the pinch of the bruising trade spat, and warned that 2018 revenues would miss its forecast - in large part due to a slump in iPhone sales in China.

The current trade round coincided with an unannounced visit from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for talks with Xi in Beijing ahead of a possible second meeting between Kim and Trump.

The foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said the talks wrapped up Wednesday. Lu said he had no details and an official statement would be issued later. "China does not need to use any other tactics".

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Some analysts say that China Pyongyang's key diplomatic ally and main source of trade could use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the USA trade talks. Both sides have provided scant information about their discussions.

The US delegation, led by Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, was supposed to end its visit on Tuesday. He had earlier warned that if a deal is not reached by March 1, the end of the 90-day grace period, the U.S. will increase the tariffs on the $200 billions of goods from 10 percent to 25 percent. WTI is among the most popular US light crude grades with Asian buyers.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC that the United States and China are "making progress" on trade.

"The US is very clear about China's stance".

Beijing's growing commercial and political ties with its neighbours will make it harder for Washington to find "Asian countries willing to stand at its side and help contain China", the newspaper said.

The talks are occurring as Chinese growth - 6.5 percent in the July-to-September period - fell to its lowest point in a decade. "There is the potential for Q2 USA crude exports to Asia to be higher year-on-year if the WTI/Brent spread remains in the range it has in recent months and with the lower freight rates", Reuters quoted a Genscape oil analyst, David Arno, as saying. But surveys show consumer confidence is weakening because of concern growth will slow this year.

For their part, Chinese officials are unhappy with US curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications. They complain China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

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