World markets mostly rise on trade optimism
BEIJING – World shares mostly rose Wednesday, spurred by optimism over trade talks between the U.S. and China.
Investors are meanwhile awaiting new U.S. home sales data, a key measure of inflation, and Washington’s latest quarterly estimate of economic growth.
Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to 7,435, while Germany’s DAX picked up 0.3% to 13,272. The CAC 40 in France moved from small losses to small gains by midday, at 5,931.
Wall Street looked set for a tepid start on the last day of trading before the Thanksgiving holiday, with the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average almost unchanged at 28,140. The future for the S&P 500 inched 0.1% higher to 3,148.
Investors have grown more hopeful over trade negotiations as the world’s two economies keep their rhetoric in check. The latest signals indicating that China and the U.S. are making progress toward a deal on trade have been particularly encouraging, as new U.S. tariffs are set to hit Dec. 15 on many Chinese-made items on holiday shopping checklists, such as smartphones and laptops.
Investors are hoping that Washington and Beijing can agree on terms of a deal that halts their trade dispute, or at least stops it from escalating.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that “We’re in the final throes of a very important deal. I guess you could say one of the most important deals in trade ever.”
That followed an announcement by China’s Commerce Ministry that said negotiators for both sides had spoken on the phone and agreed to more talks aimed at reaching a deal. The latest development came a day after China announced new guidelines for the protection of patents and copyrights, which has been a key issue in the dispute.
While most of the news on trade tensions between Washington and Beijing pointed toward progress, the Department of Commerce on Tuesday announced a plan to begin requiring case-by-case approvals of all purchases by telecommunications companies of equipment that might pose a security risk.
The move follows an order by Trump in May declaring a national emergency as a first step toward barring such deals. Major telecoms gear suppliers like China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. would likely be the hardest hit. The Commerce Department proposal could complicate efforts to clinch the trade deal.
The risk is “optimists are getting ahead of themselves on hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. “And not merely because the details of a 'Phase-1' deal may end up disappointing. Instead, the bigger risk is an augmented form of ‘bait and switch’ with regards to U.S.-China trade conflict; where investors seduced by a rapidly progressing 'Phase-1' trade deal are blind-sided by the escalating tech tensions between the U.S. and China.”
In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.3% to 23,437.77 while the S&P ASX 200 in Australia climbed 0.9% to 6,850.60. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.3% to 2,127.85. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2% to 26,954.00. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.1% to 2,903.19, while India’s Sensex added 0.2% to 40,910.06.
In energy trading, benchmark crude oil rose 17 cents to $58.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 40 cents to settle at $58.41 a barrel the day before. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 25 cents to $63.46 per barrel.
The dollar rose to 109.14 Japanese yen from 109.03 yen on Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.1004 from $1.1021.
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