FTSE latest: London share prices PLUMMET amid US-China trade war fears

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet after the G20 in Buenos Aires 1/12/2018

Image Donald Trump met president Xi for talks after the G20 in Buenos Aires

The threat of further escalation in the trade war between the world's two largest economies has loomed large over financial markets and the global economy for much of the year, and investors initially greeted the ceasefire with relief.

China and the USA would push ahead with negotiations over 90 days and China would implement the specific issues it agreed with the USA "as soon as possible", the statement said.

This follows President Trump's tweet on December 3, saying that "China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. now the tariff is 40%".

'Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina.

"On Trade, President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time".

He concluded by describing himself as a "Tariff Man", adding that the U.S.is "now taking in $billions in Tariffs".

At the G-20 dinner, Mr. Trump agreed to a 90-day delay on tariffs against China, and Mr. Xi agreed to major concessions to open its markets to American goods.

US markets rallied on Monday following the Trump administration's claim of an imminent truce in the U.S.

It did not give further details but it crucially did not contradict the U.S. president's remarks that China would buy more goods from the United States to help close their trade gap and structural changes to intellectual property protection.

Mr. Trump has used tariffs to force Beijing to the negotiating table over its long-standing trade abuses, including tariffs and other trade barriers, theft of intellectual property and forced transfer of technology from USA companies doing business in China.

Stocks sank on Tuesday, as President Donald Trump threatened China with further tariffs, just days after the two countries agreed to a cease-fire in their escalating economic conflict.

White House officials acknowledged that China hasn't fully committed to eliminate auto tariffs, as Mr. Trump announced Sunday in a tweet.

Pompeo said in Brussels on Tuesday the United States could abandon some global agreements to thwart bad actors like China, which he accused of cynically exploiting World Trade Organization rules.

"There is already evidence of a normalization in relations with Tokyo", he said, noting a reduction in the frequency of Chinese incursions into the Diaoyudao islands in the East China Sea, which Japan calls the Senkaku islands.

Following these tweets, Trump advisors like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and top economic adviser Larry Kudlow were left to lower expectations and admit that while a number of issues had been discussed between the two sides, essentially no actual agreements had been reached. Fentanyl, mixed in with heroin, has caused a spike in drug overdoses in the U.S.

While he said he would "happily sign" a fair deal that addresses USA concerns, he warned: "remember, I am a Tariff Man".

"You should talk to him", replied Abe, encouraging Xi to engage in direct conversations with Trump, knowing that he respects the Chinese leader.

China has made no direct mention of specific goods it will buy. "It will now be considered a 'controlled substance,"' Trump said in another tweet Wednesday, subsequently adding that China would see "incredible" results if it imposed the death penalty on "distributors and pushers".

Markets, however, pulled back after Monday's rally on Tuesday as doubts crept in over what could realistically get accomplished in the tight negotiating window.

A Chinese official told Reuters that officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicizing details.

"There are strong views in Japan that if China is honest about rapprochement with Japan, while respecting relevant World Trade Organisation rules based on scientific evidence, China should significantly speed up the process towards lifting the restrictions against Japanese goods and products", the source said.

"We are no longer in the same buoyant economic or markets environment that we enjoyed earlier this year when threats of tariffs against China were first made", she said.

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