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Trump and Xi chat, a Chinese state-owned company is charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets by the U.S. Justice Department, and the 1MDB fallout continues. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
Trump, Xi Talk
U.S. President Donald Trump said he had a productive conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on trade and North Korea ahead of a highly anticipated meeting planned between the two leaders at the G-20 summit this month. "Those discussions are moving along nicely," Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday. "Also had good discussion on North Korea!" Xi said he is open to talking with Trump about trade and other issues during the G-20 in Argentina, China Central Television said on Weibo, citing a scheduled phone call between the leaders.
A former senior Goldman Sachs banker in Asia pleaded guilty to U.S. bribery and money laundering charges and his deputy was arrested in Malaysia, as federal prosecutors in Brooklyn laid out conspiracy allegations related to Goldman Sachs’s lucrative fundraising for Malaysian wealth fund 1MDB. Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, the alleged mastermind of a scheme to siphon billions of dollars from the fund, was charged in absentia. He is accused of conspiring with Roger Ng, then a Goldman Sachs banker, to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB, known formally as 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Former senior Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He’s been ordered to forfeit $43.7 million. Goldman has placed Andrea Vella, its former co-head of investment banking in Asia, on leave, according to a person briefed on the decision.
A Chinese state-owned company was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets of U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. as the Justice Department steps up actions against China in cases of suspected economic espionage. Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. and Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp.were indicted in California along with three individuals, according to court papers unsealed Thursday in federal court. The U.S. also filed a civil case seeking to stop exports to America of any products manufactured by the companies that were created using the trade secrets at issue.
Iran Oil Waiver
India and South Korea agreed with the U.S. on the outline of deals that would allow them to keep importing some Iranian oil, according to Asian officials with knowledge of the matter. No final decision has been made and an announcement is unlikely before U.S. sanctions on Iran are reimposed Nov. 5, the officials said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. That opens the possibility that the terms could still be modified or the deals scrapped entirely. The waivers would ensure at least some Iranian oil continues to flow to the global market, potentially calming fears of a supply crunch and further suppressing international oil prices just before mid-term elections in the U.S. Oil fell to the lowest in more than six months Thursday on the news, and amid signs U.S. supply is accelerating.
U.S. stocks rose for a third day, continuing a torrid rebound from the October sell-off as investors greeted the latest batch of earnings optimistically amid signs of easing trade tension. Friday may offer a quiet end to the week for Asian assets that managed to calm down a bit after October's rough ride. The main Asia region data highlights will be Malaysia's budget, Alibaba earnings, plus Australian retail sales and PPI. Trading may be a bit thinner than usual with U.S. payrolls data due in the American session, providing reason to avoid leaving much on the table.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Apple will stop reporting iPhone unit sales as forecast underwhelms.
- Sri Lanka's ousted prime minister vows to fight.
- China’s yuan is a trade war casualty.
- JPMorgan says gold and the yen aren't the best hedges for geopolitical risk.
- Google workers stage mass walkout to protest handling of sexual misconduct.
- The Bank of Japan may be too focused on 2%.
- America is falling out of love with Silicon Valley.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.