Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Passenger and ro-ro cargo ships arrive at the Port of Dover Ltd. in Dover, U.K. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

(Bloomberg) --

China reviews U.S. locations for signing a trade deal, Trump swerves a meeting with Southeast Asian leaders and India is about to settle a 500-year-old dispute in the nation’s Supreme Court. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Sign Here

In the latest developments on the U.S.-China trade talks, Beijing is reviewing locations in the U.S. where President Xi Jinping would be willing to meet with Trump to sign the “Phase One” trade deal, people familiar with the plans said. It’s the latest sign that tensions in the spat — which is more than a year old and involves nearly $500 billion in goods shipped in both directions — are easing. Earlier, the Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper reported that China, heartened by progress made in the talks, may temporarily hold off on imposing $3.6 billion in sanctions on U.S. products as recently approved by the World Trade Organization. Here’s an explainer on why the location of the signing matters so much.

Second Swerve

Monday’s meeting between Southeast Asian leaders and U.S. representatives was sparsely populated, after President Donald Trump decided to avoid the annual summit for a second straight year. Only three leaders showed up from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Thailand, Laos and Vietnam — for the U.S. meeting in Bangkok. In other news from the summit, India decided against joining a trade agreement covering much of Asia, paving the way for 15 other countries to sign the China-backed regional deal next year. 

Markets Strengthen

Asian stocks are poised to consolidate gains Tuesday after another strong session on Wall Street as the U.S. and China inch closer to a trade deal, while Treasuries tumbled. Futures signaled equities will open firmer in Japan and Australia, with Hong Kong shares set to slip after the biggest jump in three weeks Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average claimed its first all-time high since July, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes also hit new highs on U.S.-China trade optimism. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.78% and the dollar advanced versus major peers. Meantime, crude oil advanced, and gold weakened. Trading in Sydney is likely to be subdued with a holiday in Melbourne for the running of the Melbourne Cup, known locally as “ the race that stops the nation.”

Apartment Life

Across China, buying an apartment just became a whole lot easier. At least 30 cities in China have made it simpler for workers to obtain highly sought-after residency permits in a sign authorities are keen not to let the nation’s real estate sector slow further. Last month saw almost all non-local residents working in the island of Hainan province allowed to obtain a hukou, or residency permit. It’s considered a precursor to buying a property in many places in China — making it easier to get one has the effect of spurring sales. Although combating property speculation has been one of President Xi Jinping’s signature policies, the slowest economic growth in 30 years is prompting some city governments to loosen the screws.

Dispute Settlement

To Hindus, it’s the revered birthplace of the god Ram. To Muslims, it’s the site of a 16th century mosque that was razed in 1992 by Hindu extremists. After a long legal fight — and much bloodshed — India’s Supreme Court is set to rule on which of the country’s biggest religions owns the site. Either way, the court’s decision is likely to inflame religious tensions at a time when Hindu hardliners are feeling increasingly empowered under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party government. 

What We’ve Been Reading

This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.

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