China promises steps to boost imports
China’s premier promised Sunday to increase imports to promote trade and appealed to other nations to oppose what he said was rising global protectionism.
“We will continue to take measures to increase our imports,” Premier Wen Jiabao said at a news conference. He gave no details of what Beijing might do but said it would pursue “basic equilibrium in our balance of international payments.”
Wen complained that other countries were trying to boost their exports by weakening their currencies. He did not name the countries.
“This is trade protectionism,” he said. “After the onset of the global financial crisis, trade protectionism did not dissipate; rather, it has gotten worse. [Read the full article]
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao makes a point at his annual press conference after the closing of the National People’s Congress held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Sunday, March 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
China’s premier expressed concern about the U.S. dollar and called on Washington on Sunday to take “concrete steps” to reassure Beijing about the safety of its huge Treasury bond holdings.
“Any fluctuation in the value of the U.S. currency is a big concern for us,” Premier Wen Jiabao said at a news conference.
“We cannot afford any mistake, how slight it is, when running our financial assets,” he said. “I would like the United States to take concrete steps to reassure investors.”
China has pressed Washington to control its yawning budget deficit and prevent inflation that would erode the value of the dollar and China’s holdings.
The premier said Treasury values were a matter of the “national credibility” of the United States. [Read the full article]
BEIJING (AP) — China’s premier rejected foreign pressure over its exchange rate controls and said Sunday the Chinese currency will be kept “basically stable.”
Premier Wen Jiabao promised to reform currency controls, but gave no indication when that might happen. Washington and other trading partners are pressing Beijing to ease controls that they say keep the yuan — also called the renminbi — undervalued, giving its exporters an unfair price advantage and swelling its trade surplus.
“First of all, I don’t think the renminbi is undervalued,” Wen said at a news conference. “We oppose all countries engaging in mutual finger-pointing or taking strong measures to force other nations to appreciate their currencies.”
Some American lawmakers and trade groups want Congress to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese goods if Beijing fails to act. Critics say the yuan is undervalued by up to 40 percent against the dollar. [Read the full article]
The stock market doesn’t want any surprises from this week’s Federal Reserve’s meeting.
It is widely expected that the Fed will keep the fed funds rate, its key lending rate, at a historic low near zero when it meets on Tuesday. That means investors and analysts will again pore over the economic assessment statement the Fed releases. They’ll be looking for changes to the Fed’s wording and its members’ voting patterns to get a sense of when rates might go up.
“It’s a nonevent,” said Paul Wachtel, a professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, of expectations for the Fed’s rate decision. “If they change the comments, it has a bigger impact.”
Investors are well aware that the Fed will eventually have to hike interest rates. The economy will get to a point where it is strong enough to grow, and higher inflation is usually a natural result of expanding economic activity. [Read the full article]