Global Markets: Shares inch to new highs on trade hopes, dollar little changed

By Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) - Equity markets extended a year-end rally on Monday, with a global index of stocks' performance and Wall Street hitting new highs, lifted by optimism over U.S.-China trade and growth prospects. The dollar was little changed after China's finance ministry said it will lower tariffs on products ranging from frozen pork and avocado to certain semiconductors next year as Beijing looks to boost imports amid a slowing economy and a trade war with the United States.

Reuters December 24, 2019 00:10:06 IST
Global Markets: Shares inch to new highs on trade hopes, dollar little changed

Global Markets Shares inch to new highs on trade hopes dollar little changed

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Equity markets extended a year-end rally on Monday, with a global index of stocks' performance and Wall Street hitting new highs, lifted by optimism over U.S.-China trade and growth prospects.

The dollar was little changed after China's finance ministry said it will lower tariffs on products ranging from frozen pork and avocado to certain semiconductors next year as Beijing looks to boost imports amid a slowing economy and a trade war with the United States.

China will implement temporary import tariffs, which are lower than the most-favored-nation tariffs, on more than 850 products, an increase from 706 products that were taxed at temporary rates in 2019, the ministry said.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.12%, reaching a new record, while its emerging market index rose 0.29%.

MSCI's all-country world index has risen nearly 3% this month as U.S.-China trade tensions eased and confidence grew that Britain would avoid a chaotic exit from the European Union. The index is up 23% in 2019, set for its best year since 2009.

Shares in Europe traded near break-even, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index down 0.02%.

The market remains focused on the trade war, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

"It's a rally being based upon momentum buying now. Stocks are being marked up, and it will continue right up until year end," he said.

President Donald Trump on Saturday said the United States and China would "very shortly" sign their so-called Phase 1 trade pact.

The benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite set intra-day highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 112.88 points, or 0.4%, to 28,567.97, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 5.27 points, or 0.16%, to 3,226.49 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 30.51 points, or 0.34%, to 8,955.46.

The Dow was lifted by a 4% gain in shares of Boeing Co after the planemaker fired Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg over intense scrutiny and industrial setbacks sparked by twin fatal crashes of its 737 MAX jetliner.

The dollar held near a two-week high against a basket of currencies, while sterling fell on concerns over the British government's hard line on Brexit talks.

The dollar, which benefits when the U.S. economy outperforms others, as well as during bouts of risk aversion due to its safe-haven status, has been supported since Washington and Beijing came to an interim trade agreement earlier this month.

The dollar index is up 1.6% for the year.

On Monday the dollar index rose 0.01% 0.01%, with the euro up 0.09% to $1.1088. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.03% versus the greenback at 109.41 per dollar.

U.S. Treasury yields were little changed to slightly lower in generally thin trading as markets headed into the end of 2019.

New orders for U.S.-made capital goods barely rose in November and shipments fell, suggesting business investment will probably remain a drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Details of the Commerce Department report were not as soft as the headline suggested, analysts said, lifting yields off their lows.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last fell 2/32 in price to yield 1.9241%.

Euro zone bond yields were broadly flat on Monday as investors chose safe-haven government debt in thin pre-holiday trade. Germany's benchmark 10-year Bund was little changed at -0.24%, about 6 basis points below last week's high.

Oil prices fell as Russia said an OPEC-led producer group may consider easing output cuts next year, offsetting support from some investor optimism that an initial U.S.-China trade deal would be signed soon and boost demand.

Brent crude was down 6 cents at $66.08 a barrel in thin trading. West Texas Intermediate rose 4 cents to $60.48 a barrel.

(Reporting by Herbert Lash, additional reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.