Singapore Markets open in 3 hrs 35 mins

US 'very confident' China trade deal to be signed: official

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he had no doubt Washington and Beijing will sign a new partial trade agreement next month, marking a truce after nearly two years of conflict.

"I'm very confident," Mnuchin told CNBC.

"It's just going through what I would consider to be a technical legal scrub and we'll be releasing the document and signing it in the beginning of January," he said in an interview on the White House lawn.

World stocks have rallied in relief this month after US and Chinese officials finally announced a "phase one" deal involving the cancelation and reduction of some US tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for pledges from Beijing to make some reforms and purchase more US goods and services in the next two years.

Details have yet to be released however and other deals between the economic powers have evaporated before.

But Mnuchin said this time both sides were on the same page.

"It's already on paper and it's already translated," he said. "It's not that it's open to renegotiation or that there are any open issues."

Mnuchin also said the strength of the US dollar, which is a global reserve currency and a "safe haven," is "a sign of the strength of the US economy,"

President Donald Trump has repeatedly railed against the strong American dollar and accused other countries of deliberating weakening their currencies to gain a competitive advantage over US firms.

He is demanding the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero to weaken the dollar.

Mnuchin, however, declined to comment on whether the US currency was too strong.

The dollar index against a basket of global currencies has risen about 1.3 percent in 2019, but has retreated from its strongest point in late September.