Analysts say the partial U.S.-China trade deal doesn't touch on thorny issues plaguing both sides, and warn talks could break down again.World Economyread more
"The Champagne should probably be kept on ice, at least until the two presidents put pen to paper," said state-owned media China Daily.Traderead more
Economists polled by Reuters had expected Chinese exports denominated in the U.S. dollar to fall by 3% and imports to decline by 5.2% in September, compared to a year ago.China Economyread more
The U.K. and EU are gearing up for what could be the busiest week in British politics since June 2016.Europe Politicsread more
"It seems like what the two leaders have done is try to set some of the thorny political issues to the side," said Dhruva Jaishankar, director of the U.S. Initiative at the...Asia Politicsread more
The U.S. had plans to hike duties on at least $250 billion in Chinese goods to 30% from 25% on Tuesday. Despite the partial trade deal, some banks on Sunday wrote that tariff...Marketsread more
Beijing will be opening up its financial industry to foreign ownership from January, namely in the areas of futures, mutual funds and securities.China Economyread more
The industry has pulled in $322 billion over the past six months, the fastest pace since the second half of 2008.Marketsread more
The United States has cleared the final procedural hurdle in order to impose tariffs on billions of dollars of European products later this month.World Economyread more
A technical recession occurs when there are two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.Asia Economyread more
"Deepfakes" are being used to depict people in fake videos they did not actually appear in, and can potentially affect elections, diplomacy and how markets move, experts say.Technologyread more
European manufacturers will need to keep an eye on China's "near-monopoly" on the extraction and supply of rare earth minerals as they move toward electric power, experts have told CNBC.
Rare earths — minerals found in a wide range of everyday consumer electronics — hit the headlines over the past week as China hinted at stopping the export of rare earths to the U.S., after Washington increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The group of 17 minerals aren't actually rare, but are produced in fairly scarce quantities compared with abundantly mined metals like copper. They have grown in prominence in recent years due to their use in high-tech equipment, defense manufacturing and electric vehicles.
China extracted 70% of the world's rare earths in 2018.
Martin Eales, CEO of London-listed Rainbow Rare Earths, which runs an ongoing mining project in Burundi, told CNBC that China may not opt for an outright export ban but rather a reduction in its production quota, which "by definition would reduce the amount of rare earths material available for export and potentially create supply problems for rest-of-the-world users."
The long-term concern for European manufacturers, however, will be the increased volume of rare earths required, according to the British Geological Survey's Science Director for Minerals, Andrew Bloodworth.
As the automotive sector moves from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, many of those electric motors will rely on high field strength electric magnets which contain rare earth components.
"This isn't going to happen overnight, but as the automotive sector moves from petrol and diesel power to electric, you can make a very efficient small powerful electric motor using high field strength magnets," Bloodworth told CNBC.
"The difference there is just that the volumes required to manufacture the millions and millions of cars every year are going to change the game, because they're going to up that demand for materials."
Bloodworth suggested that the Chinese are aware of the changing portfolio of materials required by the auto industry, adding that they are "particularly interested in selling the global automotive sector motors or even finished cars rather than rare earths."
"So we may see the market operating in a sense that if this demand does ramp up quickly, prices will rise, therefore some of these projects which are kicking around in the rest of the world will come to pass because they will become more attractive to investors," he said.
At the moment, non-Chinese mines are a difficult proposition for investors owing to the scale of Chinese dominance, but Bloodworth suggested any imposition of tariffs or restrictions would be "nuanced," as it would not be in Chinese interests to hike prices in a way that encourages alternative supply sources to enter the market.
Eales agreed that an added interest for companies like Rainbow, operating non-Chinese mines, is "speculation as to how it may fit into a future supply chain that attempts to bypass China entirely."
"There is going to be so much demand from the vehicle market for rare earths that some of these projects will come to pass anyway," said Bloodworth.
He suggested that Europe was becoming more concerned about the raw material supply chain, owing to its role as a major producer of finished vehicles and the threat that Chinese monopolization of the supply chain poses.
The British Geological Survey has been communicating to the British government the importance of understanding this shifting tide for global manufacturing.