ASX to follow Wall Street’s gains, Trump slams WTO decision over China trade war

Australian shares are set to rise in early trade, following Wall Street higher.

Investors are hopeful that the US Federal Reserve will stick with its ‘ultra-easy’ monetary policy at its two-day meeting this week.

ASX futures had risen by 44 points (or 0.8 per cent) by 6:40am AEST.

The Australian dollar was slightly higher (+0.2pc) at 73 US cents.

However, it was a slight pullback from its overnight peak of 73.43 US cents.

On Wall Street, the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed the other two major indices, after jumping 1.2 per cent to 11,190 points.

The S&P 500 lifted 0.5 per cent to 3,401, while the Dow Jones was flat at 27,996 points.

“While the economy is slowing, the upcoming macro news should be friendly, which should indicate the Fed will have no change in terms of policy,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Data on Tuesday showed US factory output increased strongly in August.

Also, US import prices increased more than expected for the same month, supporting the view that inflation pressures were building up.

Oil prices rose, supported by hurricane supply disruptions in the United States, but forecasts of a slower-than-expected recovery in global demand from the pandemic weighed.

Brent crude futures rose jumped 2.6 per cent to $US40.63 per barrel.

Gold slipped (-0.1pc) to $US1,953.71 as the US greenback rose, although hopes for a dovish monetary policy stance from the Fed limited the safe-haven metal’s losses.

US broke trade rules by starting trade war

The United States had breached global trading rules by imposing multi-billion-dollar tariffs in President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, according to findings by the World Trade Organization overnight.

Unsurprisingly, its ruling drew anger from Washington.

The Trump administration had previously said the tariffs it imposed two years ago on more than $US200 billion in Chinese goods were justified because China was forcing companies to transfer technology and intellectual property.

But the WTO’s three-person panel said the US duties broke trading rules because they applied only to China and were above maximum rates agreed by the United States.

The panel recommended the United States bring its measures “into conformity with its obligations”, but also encouraged the two sides to work to resolve the overall dispute.

“… Time is available for the parties to take stock as proceedings evolve and further consider opportunities for mutually agreed and satisfactory solutions,” it said.

“This panel report confirms what the Trump administration has been saying for four years: the WTO is completely inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices,” said US trade representative Robert Lighthizer.

China’s commerce ministry said Beijing supported the multilateral trading system and respected WTO rules and rulings, and hoped Washington would do the same.

The United States could appeal against Tuesday’s ruling.

However, that would put the case into a legal void, because Washington has already blocked the appointment of judges to the WTO’s appellate body, preventing it from convening the minimum number required to hear cases.

The WTO panel was aware it was stepping into hot waters. It noted that it had looked only into the US measures and not China’s retaliation, which Washington has not challenged at the WTO.

Mr Trump has described the WTO as “horrible” and biased towards China, threatening to quit.