Euro nears two-week high, Aussie rebounds after slide

Feb 25, 2019, 01:14
Euro nears two-week high, Aussie rebounds after slide

While the local officials acted on the order in various ways, the general effect was to extend clearance for Australian coal to more than 40 days.

The move may be a shot across the bows of Australia, which previous year followed the U.S.in banning Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. from its 5G network on security concerns.

"This could be a shot across the bow".

"If you look at the volume and the value of our coal exports to China and in the last quarter of 2018, it was higher in the same period past year and the coal exports underpin more than 50,000 jobs and $60bn of exports, so they will continue to be strong and robust".

"The significant majority of Stanmore Coal sales and all of its long term contracted sales are to customers in Japan and Korea", it said.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that one of China's biggest ports, Dalian, had banned imports of Australian coal and would cap overall coal imports from all sources to the end of 2019 at 12 million tons.

But that was not the first time market participants in China had encountered issues relating to the import of Australian coal.

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Reuters said imports from Russian Federation and Indonesia would not be affected. Details of the restrictions were also circulated on Chinese social media on Friday.

Shares in Asia were buoyed by a late rally in Chinese shares, with the main blue-chip index of Chinese shares rising 2.2 percent.

"It is impossible to force China to stabilise the currency and to insist that it embraces genuine markets, which is the other key thrust of the USA demands", says Michael Every, a strategist at Rabobank. "Apparently, they do this all the time at various ports", says Rankin Treasury Advisory principle Derek Rankin.

'It has crystallised the fear that something [political] is going on, that China is targeting Australian coal.'

Birmingham also said that Australia's exports of coal to China in the fourth quarter of 2018 were higher in volume and value than in the same period in 2017.

The Pound-to-Australian-Dollar rate was 0.83% higher at 1.8350 and has now risen 1.4% for the year-to-date.

He pointed to two possible explanations for the ban.

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However others, including the head of the Reserve Bank of Australia, have suggested that China's concerns about its own coal industry may be behind any such halts.

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However, Mr Dhar said the message Chinese officials are sending is the worry.

Dalian handles both thermal and coking coal imports but the clamp down is expected to have a bigger impact on coking coal, used in steelmaking, rather than on thermal coal, used to generate electricity.

Senator Birmingham on Thursday night asked Australia's ambassador in Beijing, Jan Adams, to seek clarification from the Chinese government. "Of course, Australian coal does not have a quality issue".

Global shares crept higher on Friday as signs of progress on trade offset a worsening economic outlook, while the Aussie dollar recouped some losses after China denied it had halted Australian coal imports.

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