Trump flips on campaign promise to label China as currency manipulator

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President Donald Trump has said that there is a "very good chemistry" between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping as he assured that United States will not label China a currency manipulator and offered to have a good trade deal if Beijing helps tackling the threat of North Korea. The Shanghai Composite Index edged 0.1 percent lower to 3,271.16. Most regional markets will be closed on Friday for the Good Friday public holiday. Energy majors Inpex, JX Holdings and Japan Petroleum ended down over 2 percent each.

On monetary policy, Mr Trump, who had accused Ms Yellen of keeping interest rates low for political reasons, said in the interview, "I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you".

Both declarations contradict multiple statements during his Presidential campaign, with his change of view on China coming only days after telling the Financial Times that China was "world champion" currency manipulator.

He also left open the possibility of renominating Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen when her term expires next year.

The dollar remained under pressure in early trade on Thursday, with President Donald Trump's comments that he prefers a weaker USA currency hurting investing appetite for the greenback.

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Xi told Trump in telephone conversation on North Korea on Wednesday that China was committed to the target of the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula but said the issue should be solved through talks.

US futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wall Street, with the indexes off about 0.2 per cent, as well as on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with the TSX 60 futures off 0.2 per cent.

President Donald Trump regularly employed harsh rhetoric on the campaign trail when it came to the topic of China, but on Wednesday he indicated that he won't be proceeding with one of his biggest campaign promises.

The yield on the benchmark USA 10-year Treasury note US10YT=RR was at 2.234 percent after touching 2.221 percent, its lowest in almost five months.

Having hit a five-month low of 108.73 in early Asian trading, the dollar steadied at 109.14 yen. On Wednesday, the FTSE-100 declined 0.2 percent and the CAC-40 lost 0.1 percent while the DAX was unchanged.

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Washington has said "all options" are available, including possible military actions to counter North Korea's threats. He also said the United States would "solve the problem" with or without Beijing's help.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 18,426.84 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.7 percent to 5,889.90. He also utilized the fact that the US government needed a more aggressive stance in negotiations with China was a core theme of his campaign.

South Korea's central bank is also expected to hold interest rates steady, at 1.25 percent.

Official data showed that China's export growth accelerated in March in a positive sign for global demand, while import growth moderated.

Foreign exchange markets volatility has been unlocked after President Donald Trump expressed his worries about a strong U.S. dollar.

US crude CLc1 dropped 0.3 percent to $52.93 a barrel, extending Wednesday's 0.5 percent loss that saw it break a six-session winning streak.

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