The Chinese government expressed confidence that it could reach a trade agreement with America by March 1st, following Donald Trump’s undertaking to postpone by 90 days the imposition of new tariffs on Chinese goods that were due to come into effect on January 1st. Mr Trump offered his olive branch in the trade war after a meeting with Xi Jinping at the G20 summit. However, there was some confusion about the details, as American officials contradicted Mr Trump’s assertions about Chinese concessions. That spooked stockmarkets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, nasdaq and s&p 500 indices fell by more than 3% in a day.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei and daughter of the Chinese company’s founder, was arrested in Canada at the behest of America for alleged violations of sanctions. It comes as Western countries have warned against using Huawei’s products in mobile-phone networks, citing fears over espionage. BT, a telecoms provider in Britain, has reportedly banned core equipment made by the firm. The head of Britain’s MI6 warned this week that Chinese technology embedded in communications infrastructure is a threat to national security.
Prosecutors in Frankfurt said that Deutsche Bank was co-operating with their inquiry into suspected money-laundering. The German bank’s offices were raided by 170 police officers and tax officials hunting for documents related to the investigation, which is based on a deep delve into the Panama Papers, a set of leaked documents into offshore financial transactions. Deutsche’s share price swooned below 8 euros ($9), a record low.
The government in the Canadian province of Alberta announced a cut in oil production of 8.7% for the first three months of 2019. It will maintain a curb on output for the rest of the year. The government wants to boost the price of Alberta’s oil, the price of which has fallen sharply this year because of a glut caused by bottlenecks in the pipelines that transport the commodity for export. With oil prices dropping generally, OPEC and Russia met in Vienna to discuss cuts to production.
Another week, another scandal for Facebook. A British parliamentary committee investigating fake news released documents which, it said, showed that Facebook had given some companies full access to user data despite a change to its platform that limited what developers could see. The documents were seized from a developer that is suing the social network. Facebook says they are “misleading” and insists it has “never sold people’s data”.