Investment management firm Invesco has suggested that opportunities exist in China despite the earnings warnings that U.S multinationals have issued in response to the ongoing trade war.

Speaking to CNBC, Invesco’s chief global market strategist, Kristina Hooper, stated that U.S. companies have “overly blamed China” for revenue declines:

There’s a lot of fear around China. We’ve certainly seen that rush that could be characterized as a panic, and I do think that presents some opportunity.

Falling Revenues? Just Blame the Trade War

According to Hooper, more U.S. firms are likely to blame the trade war between China and the U.S. for dismal revenues as the earnings season kicks in. Earlier this month, iPhone maker Apple revised its first-quarter guidance downwards citing reduced sales in China. While Apple had initially predicted sales revenues would range between $89 and $93 billion, the revision saw the figure reduced to $84 billion. Currently, China is Apple’s largest market outside the United States.

Apple Plunged 10% in Hours and the Firm Still Doesn’t Know the Root Issue 


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Apple Plunge 10% in Hours and the Firm Still Doesn’t Know the Root Issue

Apple is in deep trouble. With 8% drop in stock price on the day and low sales forecast in China, the technology behemoth is facing a tough quarter ahead.

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At the time, the company’s CEO Tim Cook stated that the trade tensions had triggered an economic slowdown in China beginning in the second half of 2018:

If you look at our results, our shortfall is over 100 percent from iPhone and it’s primarily in greater China. It’s clear that the economy began to slow there in the second half and I believe the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy.

Other U.S. firms which have similarly issued earnings warnings include tire maker Goodyear and shipping company FedEx.

Deal in the Offing?

donald trump xi jinping trade war dow jones
President Donald Trump has suggested that the U.S. is close to striking a deal with China to end the trade war. | Source: AP Photo/Andy Wong, File

Part of the reason for Hooper’s optimism on China is the belief that trade negotiations will bear fruit:

What we’re hearing is that the president [Donald Trump] is actually eager to make a deal. It could be a deal on specifically China making some small concessions around buying some more U.S. products, and we could call it a day. That looks more and more like a possibility.

Additionally, Hooper expects the Chinese government to start an economic stimulus program this year that will rev up economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

While smaller firms may currently seem attractive to investors since they have less foreign exposure, Hooper has advised against ruling out multinationals. This is because their stock prices are already trading at a discount:

I wouldn’t walk away from U.S. companies that do have exposure to China. Some of them have already been hit. Prices have come down recently for a number of those names so that could represent an opportunity.

Credit: CCN

The research team at BitMEX exchange has released a report in collaboration with TokenAnalyst which reveals that various ICO teams in 2018 gifted themselves a grand total of $24.2 billion worth of crypto tokens.

The abstract of the piece is quick to state that “in reality liquidity was too low for this value to be realized,” adding that the true value has fallen by now to $5 billion due to the crypto bear market, and $1.5 billion worth of transfers from team address clusters have gone through.

Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMEX, mocked crypto startups for reaping the fruits of creating “poo poo” tokens through ICOs. “Gravity is a b*tch,” he said.

Follow The Money

Arthur Hayes@CryptoHayes

When you create poo poo out of thin air, gravity is a bitch. Check out the latest report from BitMEX Research on ICOs.

BitMEX Research@BitMEXResearch

Tracking US$24 billion Of Tokens ICO Teams Gave Themselves

In collaboration with @thetokenanalyst, this report focuses on the treasury balances of the ICO tokens. Teams issued themselves US$24.2 billion of their own tokens, now worth around US$5 billion 

View image on Twitter


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The research is based on data for 108 tokens which, at the all-time high (ATH), were worth $80 billion in total, representing a $70 billion “loss” from the peak value, although again, it would have been impossible to sell for that much due to liquidity issues. The BitMEX research team acknowledges this in the piece but considers it a useful guideline because some trading did, in fact, occur at the ATH for these projects.

Of the $24 billion issued to ICO teams by themselves, 54% of the value was lost due to the price of the currency crashing. The teams currently hold an illiquid $5 billion in crypto tokens they issued to themselves and may have realized up to $1.5 billion in gains on top of that.

The researchers emphasize the caveat that the valuations for these holdings, while accurate in terms of the current trading price of each currency, may be overblown in the sense that the liquidity is not there to support selling the holdings at once or even at all. The data was gathered from studying smart contract information on the Ethereum blockchain.

The data is therefore a probabilistic estimate and is likely to be inaccurate at individual project level. However, the primary motivation for this report was to produce macro data about the team holdings of ICO tokens on Ethereum. Although this analysis has produced results which are far from perfect, we believe one can draw reasonable macro conclusions from the analysis.

The research then goes on to analyze each token’s value at ICO, post-ICO issuance, transfers away from team cluster, loss in value, and current value.

The End Result

ico crypto treasury
Source: BitMEX

The article concludes that ICO teams may have profited by $13 billion in total from ICOs, with very little effort made or value generated on their part.

Although, as we have repeatedly explained, there are many inaccuracies and assumptions involved in producing the data. Based on our methodology, it appears as if ICO teams have profited by almost US$13 billion from this ICO process. In our view, this money was made incredibly easily, with very little work, accountability or transparency. Therefore ICOs has proven an extremely attractive way for project founders to raise funds. The results for investors of course, have not been as attractive.

Billions were raised in the ICO process which burned countless investors over-eager to get in on the crazy throughout 2017 and much of 2018. While the trend had mostly died down as of Q3 last year, it’s too late to undo the damage done to retail investors’ pockets as well as the reputation of the cryptocurrency movement overall, both of which will need to be rebuilt slowly over time, and one can only hope that in the future, participants on both sides of the market will exercise more restraint when it comes to fundraising projects so as to avoid disaster.

As crypto-twitter novelty account @TheCryptoDemon jokingly put it earlier today:

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Crypto Demon@TheCryptoDemon






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Binance has frozen some of the funds that were stolen from crypto exchange Cryptopia during the high-profile hack that occurred earlier this week.

Binance Puzzled Why Hackers Keep Sending Funds to its Exchange

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced the news in an early morning tweet on Wednesday.

CZ Binance


Just checked, we were able to freeze some of the funds. I don’t understand why the hackers keep sending to Binance. Social media will be pretty fast to report it, and we will freeze it. It’s a high risk maneuver for them.

🐒🐵I Dream Of Alts🐵🐒@ShaftedTangu

Hey @cz_binance Binance has stolen tokens from Topia hitting it sir. Can you lock it down? 


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Zhao questions why attackers keep on sending the stolen funds to Binance, given that word quickly spreads and the crypto exchange is not shy about halting the flow of stolen funds.

Cryptopia said in a tweet that the breach occurred on Monday. Based in New Zealand, Cryptopia said the hack caused it to suffer “significant losses.”

The breach moved at least $2.4 million worth of ethereum (ETH) to several unknown wallets. Also, it moved roughly$1.2 million worth of Centrality (CENNZ).

Still, it’s unclear who was behind the hack that resulted in the redistribution of the stolen funds through Binance and other exchanges. Some have even suggested that Cryptopia may have made the transfers for security reasons.

Cryptopia said Tuesday in a tweet:

Cryptopia Exchange@Cryptopia_NZ

We cannot comment as this matter is now in the hands of the appropriate authorities. We will update you as soon as we can. 


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Investigation involving crypto-currency company

Police were advised late yesterday of an issue involving potential un-authorised transaction activity at the Christchurch based crypto-currency trading company Cryptopia.

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Zhao Creates His Own Debacle

The day after Cryptopia announced the hack, Zhao posted a message on Twitter that received considerable backlash. In that tweet, he appeared to advise crypto holders to store their holdings on exchanges instead of on personal storage devices like USB drives or hardware wallets.

That tweet did not sit well with some. Some took Zhao’s tweet to mean that the risk of self-storage is significantly greater than the risk of storing cryptocurrency on “reputable” exchanges like Binance, for example. However, Zhao later said he was not necessarily advising investors to store funds on exchanges.

Are Hacks Becoming the Norm?

CCN recently pointed out that more than $731 million was lost to exchange hacks in the first half of 2018 alone. Most of that loss, $500 million, resulted from the Coincheck hack of January 2018. There have not been any more exchange hacks on the scale of the 2014 Mt Gox hack of that upended the crypto space.

Still, breaches are a serious risk to the long-term stability and adoption of cryptocurrency. Continued breaches with basic hacking tools and methods could erode trust and confidence from investors in the public market.

Credit: CCN

Increasing rates of Chinese capital outflows over the past few months are presenting the cryptocurrency space with an unprecedented opportunity as citizens of one of the world’s most strictly regulated jurisdictions find ever more ingenious ways to get around financial movement restrictions.

China’s Capital Restriction Problem

In theory, China has perhaps the most stringent capital restrictions of any major world economy. Regulations state that individuals are not allowed to move more than $50,000 out of the country and companies are only allowed to exchange yuan for other currencies with approval from authorities. This is a rule that dates back to the era when Chinese industrialization was being developed under the principle of national self-reliance and conservation of scarce foreign reserves. These days, critics claim that such capital restrictions serve no purpose other than to coerce wealthy Chinese nationals to toe the communist party line under threat of losing their assets forcibly domiciled in the country.

In practice, even the Chinese government has a limit to how effectively or extensively it can enforce such regulations. Over the past 10  years, a vast number of Chinese elites have found ways to move their money abroad, with their extensive real estate holdings even becoming a subject of political controversy in Vancouver and London due to perceived inflationary pressure on local housing markets. This is not to mention a significant number of well-funded Swiss bank accounts held by Chinese nationals.

Opportunity For Crypto

While the central government with its tremendous surveillance capacity is not unaware of the various creative ways Chinese nationals use to export capital beyond the $50,000 limit, it is only likely to carry out a thorough crackdown in the highly unlikely event that foreign reserves become depleted. With over $1 trillion in American bonds on its books, such a scenario is extremely remote, and this creates a juicy opening for cryptocurrencies.

Chinese trade data from last month shows that capital outflows increased significantly. The last time a surge of this level happened, bitcoin embarked on a prolonged bull run starting from $200 and eventually culminating at its $20,000 all-time high as Chinese traders and exporters used cryptocurrency to move large amounts of money out of the country.

Going by last month’s trade data as well as the current rise of the Yuan, it is likely that over the next few months, Chinese money will make its way into crypto, which may herald the start of another Bitcoin bull run.

Credit: CCN

According to multiple sources, BNP SA, known by many as the largest bank in France, reportedly made a loss of $80 million in derivative trades connected to the United States.

The sources confirmed that Antoine Lours, the Head of U.S index trading at BNP, is yet to return to his position at the bank. Lours has been away on vacation since Christmas when he initiated trades on the S&P 500 Index.

Increasing tensions between the United States and China over tariffs and trade disputes caused U.S stock prices to slump over the holiday. Although the stocks did regain their ground, the high volatility concerned many traders and investors, causing massive stock selloffs.

U.S. Trading Desk Shutdown

It hasn’t been the perfect start of 2019 for BNP Paribas. In addition to the $80 million lost over trades gone awry, the bank will close down its U.S. commodities derivatives desk. The commodities division consisted of 16 traders who traded commodities such as agricultural products, metals, and energy. The decision to close is in line with an earlier decision made by the bank to cease financing oil sands and shale projects.

According to an unnamed source, the decision indicates a series of adjustments made by the bank, aiming at protecting its profitability.
Jean Pierre Lambert, Analyst at London-based Keffe, Bruyette & Woods, said:

“The bank seems to be adopting enhanced discipline on costs and profitability at its markets activities.”

Opera Trading Desk

The bank will also be shutting down Opera Trading Capital, its proprietary trading division. The division, which makes risky bets with BNP’s capital, is being shut down after last year’s market volatility saw it struggle to make profits. The business is reportedly funded with over $600 million. The bank is reportedly closing it so its resources can be reallocated to client-focused businesses.

Major Banks Call Grim Results

BNP’s key trading business saw a 10% drop in revenue over three-quarters of 2018, while Citigroup Inc. also reported a 21% drop in trading fixed income, commodities and currency on Monday. JPMorgan Chase &Co. followed on Tuesday, claiming that its trading business was greatly affected by “challenging market conditions.”

Credit: CCN

Despite a plethora of sometimes unclear regulations and restrictions, large businesses and banks in India are still embracing cryptocurrency — or at least some of the technology that underpins it — as a more reliable way to reconcile accounts, make payments, keep proper records, and manage internal funds. According to a report in the India Times, a number of Indian corporations are currently trialing blockchain technology as a means of record keeping.

Top Firms in India Eye Blockchain for Payments

Despite the traditionally hostile stance of the Reserve Bank of India on cryptocurrency exchange activities and its recent announcement that it will not be launching the mooted “Digital Rupee,” cryptocurrencies still appear to have a future in India. In the light of revelations that a lack of proper record keeping contributed to the IL&FS takeover, more large businesses are apparently willing to explore alternatives which will ensure that all financial records and contracts are properly documented.

Using blockchain technology for record-keeping practically removes the possibility of discrepancies, and it is this security functionality that makes it especially useful for large corporations with multi-level data flow. While still in it’s testing stage, sources quoted by the India Times say that the results look promising. According to them, if final results are impressive, the corporations involved have plans to scale up the whole process to cover wider areas.

unilever blockchain india
Hindustan Unilever is one of a variety of large conglomerates in India that are exploring blockchain technology for B2B payments.

Some of the big names reportedly making such moves include Hindustan Unilever, ABG Shipyard, HDFC Bank, and Reliance Industries. Right now, several pilot tests are running which use DLT strictly as a record keeping tool with hopes of balancing the books either at the end of the quarter or at the year’s end. Although there is no publicized timeline yet for the testing and proposed scale-up, stakeholders expect that blockchain technology will have a big future in the Indian corporate space.

Speaking to the India Times, Sai Venkateshwaran, a Partner and Head of CFO Advisory at KPMG India, said:

Apart from greater efficiency and accuracy, [blockchain technology] has the potential to bring enhanced levels of transparency for group treasury management and also cost savings.

Crypto Refuses to Go Away

Significant restrictions by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may yet prove to be a challenge for such nascent implementations, but many experts are of the opinion that these restrictions can be circumvented if corporations keep transactions strictly in house. In addition to high levels of cryptocurrency fraud taking place in India, regulatory concern also falls on the space because of perceived problems with taxation and accounting compliance.

Despite this, according to the report, corporate stakeholders remain convinced that getting regulators on their side in an economy projected to surpass the US by 2030 is only a matter of time.

Credit: CCN

HBUS, which has been the exclusive US partner of giant Chinese crypto exchange Huobi, will now be called by the same name. The rebranding includes a change in domain names for both companies. Huobi’s global platform will move to, while HBUS will use This change will probably throw people off for some time.

US Crypto Exchange Announces ‘Huobi’ Rebrand

Nothing actually changes in the “enhanced” arrangement between the giant and HBUS. HBUS HoldCo. continues to operate its own exchange utilizing Huobi for liquidity and technology. The primary change is the way that US users will access the platform.

CEO of HGB Leon Li said in a press release:

We feel very confident that the HBUS team will be excellent stewards of the ‘Huobi’ name as they become the top digital asset exchange in the U.S.

HBUS is an upstart alternative to major crypto exchanges like Coinbase. It offers 13 trading pairs. Exchange volume continues to trend toward exchanges like Binance, which have many dozens of trading pairs. All the same, retail investors and professional traders seek regulator-friendly options to enter the crypto market.

HBUS CEO Frank Fu said:

Huobi Global a world leading digital asset exchange, especially in Asia, and the name ‘Huobi’ is a powerful brand in the digital asset world, representing dependability, flexibility, and security for more than half a decade. Leveraging our enhanced partnership with Huobi Group, we’ll continue to operate the trading platform in a compliance-committed manner, offering wide token variety.

Huobi’s global platform will move, while Huobi US will use This change will probably throw people off for some time.

HBUS Continues Marketing Push

HBUS is one of the only exchanges to run billboard campaigns. Gemini recently followed suit with a campaign that raised some eyebrows in the crypto space. HBUS has poked fun at Coinbase and used humor in an attempt to build its user base.

As part of the rebranding, they report that they are offering trading rebates as well as promotional discounts for new users. They strive to offer lower fees than other exchanges in an effort to attract traders from other platforms. The press release reads:

To celebrate the rebranding, HBUS has launched a number of different promotions, including trading rebates, and will continue to offer low trading fees and other benefits for traders.

The exchange is still relatively new, launched July last year. However, as the only place for US users to access HGB, they are banking on the success of the OG exchange to help raise their prospects in the future.

Credit : CCN

After losing cryptocurrencies worth millions of dollars to SIM hijackers, a tech entrepreneur and other victims have launched an initiative aimed at raising awareness and pushing telcos into protecting subscribers, Motherboard reports.

According to Robert Ross, who lost approximately US$1 million when fraudsters took control of his phone number and managed to gain access to his accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges, the problem is becoming rampant:

This is a major problem that’s growing fast. I really believe this is being enabled by the carriers.

The initiative dubbed ‘Stop SIM Crime’ will not only raise awareness on the issue but will also offer victims educational resources besides pressuring cell phone carriers into taking more concrete steps to stop SIM-hijackers.

Educational Material

Prior to the incident that cost him more than US$1 million worth of cryptocurrencies, Ross had not heard of SIM swapping or hijacking and there was also very little information about it online. The initiative’s website,, aims to change this.

As reported by CCN in August last year, Ross was one of the victims caught up in the exploits of Joel Ortiz. Together with his accomplices, the SIM hijacker managed to generate more than US$5 million from SIM hijacking.

SIM Hijackers Steal Over $5 Million in Bitcoin in First Reported Crime of its Kind 


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SIM Hijackers Steal Over $5 Million in Bitcoin in First Reported Crime of its Kind

Forget cryptojacking, SIM hijacking now seems set to become even more lucrative for criminals looking to cash in with bitcoin from the burgeoning space. A 20-year old college student from Boston,…

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Ortiz specifically targeted individuals in the blockchain and crypto sectors. During a blockchain technology summit held last year, he is alleged to have made more than US$1.5 million. He was only arrested after investigators obtained the International Mobile Equipment Identity numbers of the mobile devices he had been using in SIM swapping with the help of telecommunications giant AT&T.

The arrest of Ortiz also led to the nabbing of Xzavyer Narvaez, who was also engaging in SIM hijacking. This was after investigators found evidence in one of Ortiz’s phones suggesting that Narvaez had also used the same devices.

When McLaren?

Narvaez hit headlines last year after it was discovered that he had spent the proceeds of his SIM hijacking exploits in purchasing various luxury cars including a 2012 Audi R8 and a 2018 McLaren.

Alleged SIM Swapper Teen Purchased Luxury Cars with Stolen Bitcoin 


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Alleged SIM Swapper Teen Purchased Luxury Cars with Stolen Bitcoin

Law enforcement officials in California have arrested another hacker accused of stealing cryptocurrency by hijacking phone numbers. 19-year old Xzavyer Narvaez has been charged with seven counts of…

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Besides Ross, others who have lost cryptocurrencies worth millions of dollars to SIM swappers include Michael Terpin, a bitcoin investor. Last year, Terpin filed a US$224 million lawsuit against AT&T saying the telecoms operator was at fault when SIM hijacked impersonated him and gained access to his cryptocurrency accounts:

AT&T’s willing cooperation with the hacker, gross negligence, violation of its statutory duties, and failure to adhere to its commitments in its Privacy Policy. What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewelry in the safe from the rightful owner.

Credit: CCN

When the Dx.Exchange platform launched earlier this week, it was met with much fanfare and exposure across the financial news arena. However, major problems are already afoot.

An online trader checking out the platform’s security hygiene came across a number of security issues and said that the exchange could be “criminalized super-easy.”

The exchange had a soft launch on Jan 7 and has been marketed as bridging the gap between cryptocurrencies and real-world stocks. You can obtain not only digitized versions of Apple, Facebook and Apple stocks, but also some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.

Although the exchange had received some favorable reviews from major news outlets, the exposure has now taken a turn for the worst as reports are surfacing that Dx.Exchange has some major security issues.

Site Assessment Unearths Security Issues

An online trader whose identity remains a secret for legal reasons ran some checks on the newly launched Dx.Exchnage platform and found that the site was leaking some sensitive legal and financial data.

The anonymous trader who gave this information to Ars Technica created a dummy account to test the robustness of the platform and its security. Soon after turning on the developer tool in the Google Chrome browser to explore further, he found out some shocking details. The trader found that the request he had sent from his browser to Dx.Exchange included information about the authenticated token and the user’s details to access the account.

Allegedly, the anonymous trader said that the information on the browser contained password-reset links from other users’ tokens as well. The tokens are formatted using an open standard called JSON Web Tokens, which leaves it open to those who have enough skill that could easily obtain email addresses and the full names of the token’s owners.

I have about 100 collected tokens over 30 minutes. If you wanted to criminalize this, it would be super easy.

The trader could basically gain access to any affected account if the users’ hadn’t already logged out from the point when the token info was leaked. After further exploration, the anonymous trader could also keep the access to the accounts even after they had logged out.

Even More Issues with Dx.Exchange

Although this discovery was already bad enough, the anonymous trader unearthed even more security issues with the Dx.Exchange platform. The leak endangered the entire system as token data belonging to employees of the company was also accessible.

Can you imagine the potential carnage if hackers had managed to get into the admin accounts of employees? The anonymous trader went onto say:

You can see from the account’s email address it’s I have pretty good confidence I could do this for a day and get an administrative token and have everything.

An Ars Technica staff member went on to confirm that the exchange was responding with lots of authentication tokens. He contacted several users from the obtained list and asked them if they had joined Dx.Exchange. One of the users confirmed that they did sign-up for the exchange just an hour before.

Then trader allegedly informed Dx.Exchange about the issues, who within 24-hours acted by scheduling a maintenance update to “perform several bug fixes and updates.”




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Although the security issues with the Dx.Exchange could just be teething problems during their “soft launch”, it is important that the exchange’s users exercise precaution. The initial exposure in the financial media seemed like a great thing for the exchange, but could now become a liability as they need to exercise some damage limitations.

Credit: CCN

Stock indices including the Dow traded higher after Wednesday’s open and were on track for their fourth consecutive daily advance, as sentiment around U.S.-China trade negotiations improved following the conclusion of mid-level talks in Beijing.

Recovery Continues

All of Wall Street’s major indexes were holding onto firm gains as of mid-morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 45.56 points, or 0.19%, to 23,833.01. Visa Inc. (V), Boeing Co (BA) and Chevron Corp (CVX) emerged as the early leaders, each rising at least 1.6%.

dow jones industrial average

The broad S&P 500 Index rose 0.06% to 2,576.01. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.29% to 6,916.85.

Since entering bear-market territory last month, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have recovered 10% and 11%, respectively. All indexes bottomed on Christmas Eve before staging a large recovery on Boxing Day. The relief rally has extended into the new year thanks to a combination of trade optimism and stronger than expected data.

Stocks rose more than 1% on Tuesday ahead of President Trump’s first prime-time address to the nation. The president made one of his strongest cases yet for increased border protection between the United States and Mexico but held off on declaring a national emergency that may have given him the latitude to move forward with an extension of the southern barrier. More on this story: President Trump Makes His Case for a Border Wall as Economy Hangs in the Balance.

Trade Optimism Builds

The first round of trade negotiations between the United States and China concluded on a positive note Wednesday, setting the stage for continued dialogue after a “ good few days,” according to a U.S. official who attended the meetings.

Ted McKinney, the U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, said the meetings “went just fine” without elaborating. The negotiations went a day longer than planned, which means both sides are treating the matter seriously. According to CNBC, both sides made progress on key issues related to the purchase of U.S. farm and energy commodities and increased access to China’s domestic market.

dow jones us-china trade war

The negotiations were the first face-to-face meetings since President Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed in early December to put their trade war on hold for 90 days. The 90-day window expires in March.