Global stocks mostly rise ahead of US-China tariff war talks

Published: February 21, 2019 20:30:46 | Updated: April 02, 2019 14:19:15

Most global stock markets rose Thursday as US and Chinese officials entered two days of negotiations aimed at ending a bruising tariff battle, according to AP.

In midday trading in Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.7 per cent to 7,178 after EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he remains downbeat on the prospect of Britain avoiding a chaotic exit from the bloc next month. Germany’s DAX index advanced 0.4 per cent to 11,443 while France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 per cent to 5,201.

On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was roughly unchanged. The future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1 per cent.

Investors were looking ahead to talks in Washington on a fight over Beijing’s technology ambitions ahead of a March 02 deadline for a possible US tariff hike.

Neither government has released details but companies saw the decision to hold more talks as a sign of progress.

US President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday the talks were “going very well.” Trump has suggested he might postpone the tariff hike on $200 billion of goods but made no firm commitment.

Meanwhile, investors were reassured by minutes to the last policy meeting of the US Federal Reserve showing the central bank will be patient with interest rate hikes amid economic uncertainty.

A lack of details in the Fed’s report “leaves the region to await further US-China developments,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a report.

After markets rose on Trump’s positive comments, she said, “one should not be surprised” to see more gains.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.1 per cent to 21,464.23 while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 per cent to 2,751.80.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0.3 per cent higher at 28,600.54 and Seoul’s Kospi was off 1 point at 2,228.66. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.7 per cent to 6,139.20 and India’s Sensex added 0.4 per cent to 35,912.25.

Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also advanced. India’s Sensex shed 0.1 per cent to 35,721.75.

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