SEOUL, South Korea — Leaders of 20 major economies on Friday refused to back a US push to make China boost its currency's value, keeping alive a dispute that raises fears of a global trade war amid criticism that cheap Chinese exports are costing American jobs.
A joint statement issued by the leaders including President Barack Obama and China's Hu Jintao tried to recreate the unity that was evident when the Group of 20 rich and developing nations held its first summit two years ago during the global financial meltdown.
But deep divisions, especially over the US-China currency dispute, left G-20 officials negotiating all night to draft a watered-down statement for the leaders to endorse.
"Instead of hitting home runs sometimes we're gonna hit singles. But they're really important singles," Obama told a news conference after the summit.
Other leaders also tried to portray the summit as a success, pointing to their pledges to fight protectionism and develop guidelines next year that will measure the imbalances between trade surplus and trade deficit countries.