Trump heightens tariff threat in trade war with China

US dollar down on as Trump makes fresh threats vs China

When Washington announced it was to impose tariffs on US$50 billion worth of Chinese products on June 15, China's Ministry of Commerce immediately issued a statement, at 1:30am local time that Saturday, announcing its retaliatory measures, with a detailed list of United States products that Beijing would target for additional import duties. The hats are being produced for Trump's 2020 re-election campaign despite his campaign official's claims that all of their merchandise is made in the U.S.

The yuan, which has fallen about 10 percent since mid-April, is expected to extend its steady decline, providing Beijing with a buffer against punitive USA trade tariffs.

After the interview, Trump reiterated criticism of the Federal Reserve's planned interest-rate hikes, posting on Twitter that the tightening policy would diminish any US trade advantage and exacerbate losses from "BAD trade deals".

People walk past a mural displaying world currency symbols on the outside of a bank in Beijing, Friday, July 20, 2018.

The White House later said in a statement that the president respects the USA central bank´s independence and was not interfering with its policy decisions.

Earlier this month, the United States imposed tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese imports.

The decline "does provide a significant offset to the loss in export competitiveness for Chinese exporters", Rajiv Biswas of IHS Markit said in a report Friday.

"More expensive soy can mean that China will look to other sources for the bulk of its imports", the cartoon continues, adding, "As two of the top soybean suppliers to China, Brazil and Argentina could pick up the slack". On Thursday, it surprised investors by guiding the yuan lower. They also have increased the margin by which the state-set daily starting price for trading can be changed.

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It has since signed a three-year currency swap agreement with the Chinese central bank to facilitate trade between the two countries and enhance its foreign reserve management.

The central bank "defended the currency in early July but now it seems gravity is doing its job again as monetary policy diverges further between the USA and China", Margaret Yang of CMC Markets said in a report.

The Canadian dollar had a great day, jumping almost a full cent to 76.17 cents (U.S.), thanks to the pullback in the us dollar and a hotter-than-expected reading in USA inflation. China, conversely, has always been faulted for keeping its currency low, though it has not been officially labeled a manipulator by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Trump's comments against Fed rate hikes also helped steepen the Treasury yield curve.

The question is how much further the yuan may fall. The US dollar is the major reserve currency in the world.

Unlike the dollar or euro, the yuan does not float freely against other currencies. The British pound strengthened 0.9 percent to $1.3136. But rate increases also make borrowing costlier for households and companies and can weaken the pace of growth.

Nigeria's central bank asked lenders on Friday to submit bids for the Chinese yuan, traders said, in the first auction after it agreed a $2.5-billion (R33.56-billion) swap with its Chinese counterpart in May.

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