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Trump-Xi Dinner Concludes With Applause; Lasts Longer Than Expected; Trump Then Rushes Off To AF1

The much anticipated dinner meeting between US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and their respective entourage, has finished, lasting more than two and a half hours, and concluding on a positive note on Saturday. According to the SCMP, discussion about de-escalating tensions between the world's two largest economies lasted half an hour longer than scheduled, which according to Bloomberg's Jennifer Epstein suggests that "the conversation might’ve been constructive."

While details of the outcome are yet to be released, both sides reportedly looked happy at the end of the gathering, with applause heard in the room as the dinner drew a close.

Trump meets Xi for the first time in more than a year: “This is a very important meeting.... At some point we are going to end up doing something that is great for China and great for the United States.'' pic.twitter.com/LD1WDFhyUa

— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) December 1, 2018

In fact, according to SCMP editor Chungyan Show, the dinner went "so well the two sides decide to take a "family photo" at the end - which is not something in the original plan."

In fact, it is going so well the two sides decide to take a "family photo" at the end - which is not something in the original plan.

— Chungyan Chow (@ChungyanChow) December 1, 2018

As he was preparing to sit down with Trump, Xi was quoted as saying that he was “very happy” to be meeting with Trump after the conclusion of the Group of 20 summit, and that he saw the occasion as an “opportunity to exchange views”.

“Xi Jinping said at the beginning that he was very happy to meet with the president,” China’s state news agency Xinhua reported shortly after the bilateral meeting began in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“Since the last meeting, there have been many new changes in the world situation. As two big countries, China and the United States have important influences and share important responsibilities in promoting world peace and prosperity,” the report quoted Xi as saying.

Trump listens to Xi pic.twitter.com/yENE9AsrhI

— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) December 1, 2018

“Cooperation is the best choice for both sides. I would like to take advantage of the opportunity tonight to exchange views with the president on issues of common concern and plan for the next phase of Sino-US relations.”

While the contents of an agreement, if any, have yet to be leaked, what is known is what was served during the dinner between Trump and Xi: grilled sirloin steaks paired with a malbec from the Argentine winery Catena Zapata; it's unclear if that is bullish or bearish. Also, since Trump doesn't drink, he most likely had a diet coke.

But in what may be the biggest surprise of the night, Trump reportedly rolled away from the Park Hyatt hotel and headed to the airport and back to D.C., and there has bee no readout from the White House yet of his meeting with Chinese President Xi.

Traders, investors, pundits and reports are all hoping that Trump will have some (encouraging) comments for them from Air Force 1, or else the most expected dinner in years between the two leaders will have been an epic dud.

And until then, we look forward to flashing red headlines of media leaks describing what was said and done, what was agreed, and maybe, what wasn't...