TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday, despite more conciliatory messages from Washington on trade as investors remained worried about how the US-China row will develop.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.48 percent or 101.38 points to 21,087.18 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.34 percent or 5.29 points at 1,538.86.
The United States softened its stance on auto imports on Wednesday but investors remained focussed on the US-China trade war and the health of the world’s two biggest economies, analysts said.
“Caution on how the trade war will develop remains strong,” said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.
“Selling also hit companies that announced slack earnings, dealing a double whammy to the market,” he said.
Industry sources in the United States said President Donald Trump planned to hold off on imposing steep tariffs on imported autos while Washington pursues agreements with key trading partners.
Trump has threatened to impose 25-percent punitive duties on autos — a possibility that has worried the European Union and Japan in particular, as well as Mexico and Canada.
Vice President’s upcoming visit to further deepen friendship, advance CPEC development: China
BEIJING: Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan’s upcoming visit to Pakistan will further deepen high-level exchanges, friendship and mutual trust between China and Pakistan and advance development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) besides bilateral cooperation across the board, a Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson said on Friday.
“We believe the vice president’s visit will further deepen high-level exchanges, friendship and mutual trust between China and Pakistan and advance the CPEC development and our cooperation across the board,” Lu Kang said while responding to a question of APP regarding the significance of the visit during his daily press briefing held here.
He said the visit would inject a new impetus in a closer community of shared future in a new era for two countries.
The spokesperson said the Chinese vice president would be visiting Pakistan from May 26 to 28 at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Wang Qishan will be meeting with President Arif Alvi and hold talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan and exchange views on deepening bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interests,” he added.
Lu Kang remarked that China and Pakistan were all-weather strategic cooperative partners and iron friends, adding, “We firmly support each other on issues concerning each other’s foreign interests.”
Pakistan, China to enhance exchanges in view of changing int’l scenario
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed to enhance high-level exchanges and strengthen pragmatic cooperation for more progress in bilateral relations in the wake of changing international scenario.
This was stated by Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang, in Beijing on Thursday, while responding to a question regarding a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Bishkek.
The spokesperson said both the foreign ministers discussed international cooperation on some important issues like counter-terrorism.
He said they also discussed other issues including the Afghan situation and reached a consensus on it.
Meanwhile, according to a Chinese foreign ministry’s statement issued in Beijing, China appreciates Pakistan’s long-term efforts to combat the menace of terrorism.
A day earlier, while talking to Wang Yi on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting, FM Qureshi said that friendship with China is cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
“China is our close friend and a strong partner,” he added, while commending Chinese support to Pakistan on important matters and its role in regional peace and stability.
Boeing 737 MAX: Regulators fail to set return to service date
FORT WORTH (US): Civil aviation regulators from around the world failed to make a determination Thursday on when Boeing’s popular 737 MAX aircraft can return to the skies after being grounded following two deadly crashes.
“The only timetable is to make sure the aircraft is safe to fly,” Daniel Elwell, acting head of the US Federal Aviation Administration, said at the conclusion of the day-long meeting in Texas.
There was “enthusiastic agreement to continue the dialogue,” he said, but acknowledged that “each country has to make its own decision.”
Until the 737 MAX crashes in Ethiopia in March and Indonesia in October which left a combined 346 people dead, the common practice was that air regulators would follow the assessment of the agency overseeing the model, in this case, the FAA.
On Wednesday, Elwell threw cold water on hopes of a speedy resolution, after revealing that Boeing had held off submitting a proposed software fix for review after his agency raised additional questions.
Investigators have focused on the MAX’s anti-stall Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System in inquiries into the two deadly crashes.
Boeing last week said the MCAS update was ready for the certification process, and US airlines were hoping the planes could be back in the skies in time for part of the summer travel season.
But Elwell on Thursday said the process could take one month, two months or longer.
“It is all determined by what we find in our analysis of the application,” he told the Media.
Once Boeing has submitted all documentation, the FAA will conduct a test flight and detailed analysis to evaluate the safety of the software.
Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst at Teal Group, said Boeing wants to avoid having to repeat the process.
“There’s a lot at stake in terms of the first impression by the world’s regulators,” he told the Media.
US air carriers that operate the 737 MAX, including American Airlines, Southwest and United, have said they hope to have the planes flying again by mid-August at the latest.