Global stocks lift as on U.S. takes softer tone on China trade fight

Global stocks lift as on U.S. takes softer tone on China trade fight

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States' friendlier stance on its trade relationship with China led global stock markets slightly higher on Wednesday, despite a 2 percent slide in Chinese equities, and drew the U.S. dollar towards its second straight day of gains.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration unveiled a plan for a stronger security review process of foreign investors acquiring American technologies, softening its tone from previous remarks indicating it would specifically block Chinese investments.

“Such legislation will provide additional tools to combat the predatory investment practices that threaten our critical technology leadership, national security, and future economic prosperity,” Trump said in a statement.

By mid-morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 185.82 points, or 0.77 percent, to 24,468.93, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 13.14 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,736.2 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 12.14 points, or 0.16 percent, to 7,573.76.

Gains were capped by investors' persistent concerns about the volatility in U.S.-China trade rhetoric.

"Investors are trying to decide what the policy is going to be with respect to trade with China and the rest of the world. It vacillates between their feeling pessimistic about it and some sense of encouragement that it won't be as severe as feared," said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> rose 0.90 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.10 percent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> closed 1.24 percent lower, while Japan's Nikkei <.N225> lost 0.31 percent.

Losses were led by China, where Shenzen-listed blue chips <.CSI300> sank 2.1 percent to a whisker above 13-month lows. Chinese equities have now fallen into so-called bear market territory, having tumbled 20 percent from recent peaks.

"After a lot of saber-rattling, we are seeing Shanghai suffering a lot more than Wall Street, so clearly the first round (of trade war) has been won by America. Unfortunately, that then overflows into emerging markets and Europe," said Peter Lowman, chief investment officer at UK wealth manager Investment Quorum.

Political concerns in Europe are also worrying investors at the margin as a fight over migration policy in Germany's coalition government rumbles on, raising concerns that the euro zone's biggest economy could be headed for snap elections.

That also contributed to pushing euro zone yields lower , with German yields edging toward one-month lows.

Trump's latest plans to screen foreign investments led some safe-haven investments lower.

The dollar, however, rose broadly, including against the Swiss franc and Japanese yen, on the U.S. new plan on foreign investments. The dollar was up 0.28 percent against the yen at 110.36 yen, and it advanced 0.47 percent against the franc. The dollar index <.DXY>, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, was up 0.44 percent at 95.075, on pace for its second straight day of gains.

Gold prices slipped to a six-month as the dollar strengthened, making bullion more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

The move takes gold's losses this month to more than 3 percent - the biggest monthly loss since September - driven by a dollar rally, a large decline in gold held by exchange traded funds and a sharp fall in speculative bets on higher prices.

Spot gold dropped 0.3 percent to $1,255.27 an ounce. U.S. gold futures fell 0.25 percent to $1,256.80 an ounce.

U.S. Treasuries gave back some price gains after Trump's statement, but yields continued lower on the uncertainty.

In oil markets, prices rose on supply disruption in Canada, falling U.S. crude stocks, uncertainty over Libyan exports and U.S. demands that importers stop buying Iranian crude from November. [O/R]

(Additional reporting by Saquib Iqbal Ahmed and Karen Brettell in New York, and Peter Hobson and Sujata Rao in London; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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


Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 02:05 AM

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