China’s trade surplus with US swells in June

China’s surplus with the US rose to $133.8 billion in January-June, and a record $28.97 billion last month. (AFP)
Updated 13 July 2018
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China’s trade surplus with US swells in June

BEIJING: China’s surplus with the US swelled in June, data showed Friday, likely stoking tensions with Donald Trump, who has imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods citing unfair trade practices.
The increase came as total trade between the world’s top two economies rose 13.1 percent for the first half of the year, despite the face-off, which has seen tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods and warnings of more to come.
China’s surplus with the US rose to $133.8 billion in January-June, and a record $28.97 billion last month.
The imbalance is at the heart of Trump’s anger at what he describes as Beijing’s unfair trade practices that are hurting American companies and destroying jobs.
But on Thursday, China blamed those problems on the US, saying the trade imbalance was “overestimated” and caused by “domestic structural problems” in the United States, in a statement from the commerce ministry.
“This trade dispute will definitely have an impact on China-US trade and will have a very negative impact on global trade,” said customs administration spokesman Huang Songping at a briefing Friday.
With the wider world, China’s exports rose 11.3 percent on-year in June, beating a Bloomberg News forecast of 9.5 percent, while imports increased 14.1 percent, below the forecast 21.3 percent.


Goldman Sachs’ second quarter profit up 44 pct; CEO Blankfein to retire

Updated 56 sec ago
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Goldman Sachs’ second quarter profit up 44 pct; CEO Blankfein to retire

NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs’ profits jumped 44 percent in the second quarter compared with a year ago, driven by the investment bank’s core franchises: advising companies on mergers, acquisitions and other deals, and its trading business.
The New York-based bank said Tuesday that earnings reached $2.35 billion in the second quarter, compared with $1.63 billion a year earlier. On a per-share basis, Goldman earned $5.98 a share, compared with $3.95 a share a year earlier, beating analysts’ forecasts of $4.65 a share.
Separately, Goldman said Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein will retire as of Oct. 1, and be replaced by David Solomon, the president and chief operating officer. Blankfein has been CEO since 2006.
Nearly all of Goldman’s businesses saw double-digit growth in the second quarter. Trading was particularly strong. Goldman’s institutional client services division, which contains the firm’s trading operations, posted net revenues of $3.57 billion in the quarter, up 17 percent from a year earlier.
Goldman’s trading performance can be fickle, driven by whether the market was volatile that quarter and whether the right sort of securities saw the right sort of movement. Like its competitor Morgan Stanley, which will report results Wednesday, Goldman has been looking to diversify its businesses, moving in recent years into consumer lending and consumer banking.
Goldman’s investment banking business also had a solid quarter, posting net revenues of $2.05 billion, which is up 18 percent from a year earlier. The firm saw both higher underwriting revenue, as well as revenue for advisory services.
The firm’s return on equity ratio, a closely watched performance gauge for banks like Goldman Sachs which measures how much money the bank earned with the money investors have lent it, was 12.8 percent in the quarter. Banks like Goldman try to keep that figure above 10 percent.
Company-wide net revenues were $9.4 billion in the quarter, also beating analysts’ expectations.
Goldman shares fell 0.8 percent to $229.25 in premarket trading.