U.S. official Lighthizer arrives in China ahead of trade talks

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai China

The soft sentiment drivers for markets had circled President Donald Trump overnight with his lack of an outright objection to the border-security deal and the suggestion of his flexibility in the deadline for a trade deal with China.

US campaign against Huawei faces challenge in Eastern Europe / WSJ (paywall)"In the Czech Republic, officials have taken opposite sides on how to balance security concerns raised by the USA, and the country's own cybersecurity officials, with the desire for Chinese investment, trade and business opportunities".

A second source said that Xi is expected to meet the USA delegation in Beijing this week, although the specific timing has not yet been confirmed. "We're looking forward to several important days of talks", Mnuchin said to reporters.

As a result, some aides privately acknowledge the most likely scenario is for the March 1 deadline to be extended, and for tariffs on some $200 billion in Chinese imports not to be raised to 25 percent as Trump has threatened.

US President Donald Trump said Thursday he did not expect to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline for the two economic superpowers to reach a deal.

Mnuchin, along with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, arrived in the Chinese capital on Tuesday.

The real reason plane was denied landing permission in China
New Zealand yesterday said Beijing had postponed an event to launch the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism 2019 in Wellington next week.

North Korea may have made more nuclear bombs, but threat reduced
Last week, Trump said he would hold his second meeting with Kim in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Feburary 27 and 28. The probability of the Olympic bid, however, relies on the state of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic program.

Snow, freezing rain to hit Chicago region Monday night
Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Peterborough and the City of Kawartha Lakes on Tuesday. The winter storm is associated with a Colorado low that will cross southern Ontario Tuesday and Wednesday.

Trump's advisers have previously described March 1 as a "hard deadline", but Trump told reporters for the first time that a delay was now possible.

Washington is expected to keep pressing Beijing on long-standing demands that it make sweeping structural reforms to protect American companies' intellectual property, or IP, end policies aimed at forcing the transfer of technology to Chinese companies, and curb industrial subsidies.

While China has offered to buy more United States soybeans and beef, officials have yet even to agree on a draft of a deal that would address key USA concerns, according to media reports.

The White House said there would be a preparatory meeting of senior officials beginning February 11 and the talks would include officials from the Agriculture, Energy and Commerce Departments.

Both the Chinese government and Huawei have dismissed these concerns.

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