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China Press Digest: Tuesday, December 5

     BEIJING (MNI) - The following are highlights from the China press for
Tuesday, December 5:
     It's time for the United States to end its activist trade protectionism,
which will inflict damage on itself as well as other countries and could even
hurt the global trade system, the official People's Daily said Tuesday, citing
analysts and the Ministry of Commerce. European Union countries and the U.S. are
"played dirty" by disobeying the World Trade Organization rule to abandon the
"surrogate country approach," which allows them to engage in broader
anti-dumping trade actions, the newspaper argued. This time the U.S. action is
"too much," as it is politicizing trade issues, Zhang Jianping, head of Regional
Economic Operation Research Center under the Ministry of Commerce, told the
newspaper. He stressed American politicians repeatedly bring up the bilateral
trade imbalance to exert pressure on China, instead of viewing the two nations'
trade conflicts fairly. The U.S. actions continue to lack sincerity, which is
harmful to the advancement of bilateral trade cooperation, Zhang said. The key
element of the China-U.S. relationship is cooperation, which coexists with
competition, he said. (People's Daily)
     The Shanghai-London Stock Connect is getting increased attention recently
from experts and officials, as they seek to advance the program that is expected
to benefit both China and the U.K., the Securities Daily reported Tuesday. The
Connect program would enable Chinese investors to trade U.K. companies during
Chinese trading hours while allowing U.K. investors to trade Chinese companies
during U.K. trading time. In the last several weeks, four Chinese officials have
made clear that one of their main tasks is to verify the feasibility of the
Shanghai-London Stock Connect program and advance it. They are: Li Chao, vice
chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission; Zhang Shenfeng, assistant
chairman of the CSRC; Zhang Bin, the head of the Shanghai Stock Exchange's Hong
Kong Office; and Zhou Ming, chief executive officer of China Securities
Depository and Clearing Corporation, Ltd, the newspaper said. The initiative
would speed up the internationalization of China's capital market, attract more
investors to the domestic capital market, and help Chinese investors diversify
their global investment portfolios. (Securities Daily)
     Some banks and financial companies are still making illegal consumer loans
for home purchasers or lack procedures to make sure consumer loans aren't being
used to buy property, the Securities Daily reported Tuesday. Over the past three
months, Chinese regulators have been tightening policies to prevent consumer
loans that enable home purchasers to pay their mortgages or down payments. The
newspaper also reported that banks, under pressure to reach their credit quotas
at the end of the year, have been willing to accept some "group purchases" of
loans, under which financing companies buy a series of loans at a lower interest
rate. These financing companies then sell the loans directly to consumers. The
newspaper's investigation quoted one bank saying it doesn't require invoices
showing what the loans are used for and one finance company saying "it's hard
for banks to monitor where the loans go." (Securities Daily)
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: iris.ouyang@marketnews.com
--MNI BEIJING Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: john.carter@mni-news.com
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