US Senate passes Hong Kong human rights bill

US Senate passes Hong Kong human rights bill

"If not, the USA will implement them and that will throw the game into next year".

Technology and communication services companies were among the biggest losers Wednesday.

Growing optimism among investors that the US and China were making progress toward a limited trade deal helped pave the way for gains in the market in recent weeks.

Beijing's blatant arrogance, reflected in the escalation of police violence in the past week, and its furious response to the passing of the bill indicate that Chinese leaders misjudged the situation, according to China expert Qin Peng, who shared his views with Sound of Hope radio, a sister media company of Epoch Times, during a November 19 interview. "Are the tariffs back on the table again?"

That decision could foil efforts by President Donald Trump's administration to forge a trade deal with Beijing, analysts say. They're close to a deal.

He said Congress voted "to protect American interests and hold China accountable for its misconduct".

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index was down 0.5% as of 3:35 p.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ Composite are all up about 0.15% in premarket trading.

Consumer product makers also fell broadly. Bond prices were little changed.

And the USA government has begun issuing licenses for some companies to supply goods to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's largest telecoms equipment maker whose blacklisting by the administration has been another point of contention. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up by more than 24%, while the Dow is up almost 20%. Beijing is pressing Washington to agree to broader tariffs rollbacks on Chinese goods. Stocks have receded from those highs the past few days as investors have grown more doubtful about a trade resolution. Doubts have persisted despite some encouraging remarks from the presidents of both nations.

If Trump signs the bill, it could strain relations with China at a politically delicate moment in the trade negotiations.

In a dinner speech in Beijing on Wednesday, Vice Premier Liu He said he was "cautiously optimistic" on a phase one deal, Bloomberg News said, citing people who attended the event ahead of a forum organized by Bloomberg LP.

Investors have heard such remarks before throughout the long-running trade war, however. -China trade deal could slide into next year as Beijing presses for tariff rollbacks. "Human right should never be override [sic] by the trade deal", Wong tweeted.

Among other stocks, apparel retailer Urban Outfitters Inc slumped 14% after missing quarterly sales estimates on weaker demand for its namesake brand.

Retailers continued to report a mixed batch of earnings. The department store climbed 5.2% Friday. That's not as bad as the 4% drop that analysts were earlier expecting.

Benchmark crude oil rose $1.90 to settle at $57.11 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the global standard, declined 10 cents to $63.87 per barrel.

The December gold contract was down US$10.60 at US$1,463.60 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 2.6 cents at US$2.62 a pound. Heating oil declined 1 cent to $1.93 per gallon.

Japan's Nikkei fell 0.8% as the Japanese yen, typically considered a safe-haven currency, gained 0.2%.

PayPal slipped 1.5 percent after saying it would buy Honey Science, which helps people find coupons and discounts while they shop online.

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