Global stock markets mostly up as focus on China-US pact

January 13, 2020: World stock markets mostly rose on Monday as investor attention turned to the global economic outlook and this week's planned signing of the China-US trade pact.

Heading towards midday, London won 0.5 percent on the back of the weaker pound, which boosts share prices of multinationals that earn in dollars.

Sterling sagged as Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe hinted at a potential vote in favour of a January cut to the central bank's main interest rate.

Stoking rate-cut speculation, official data showed the UK economy shrank 0.3 percent in November, as Brexit and political uncertainty contributed to slashing manufacturing output.

In the eurozone meanwhile, Paris stocks added 0.3 percent but Frankfurt flatlined.

“Equity market sentiment in Europe… is positive as traders are looking ahead to the signing of the first phase of the US-China trade deal on Wednesday,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

The picture was brighter in Asia with Hong Kong rallying more than one percent and Shanghai up 0.8 percent.

While the optimism that characterised the end of 2019 is returning to trading floors, dealers were left a little disappointed by a below-par jobs report out of Washington on Friday.

All three main indexes on Wall Street ended in negative territory following the reading, having hit new highs, with profit-taking also playing a role.

However, analysts pointed out that while the data missed expectations, it did suggest that the Federal Reserve will likely maintain interest rates at low levels for some time to come, with some tipping the next move could be another cut.

– Pen to paper – Focus this week is on Washington, where China and the United States will finally put pen to paper on their much-vaunted “phase one” trade deal, which has lowered tensions between the economic superpowers and boosted hopes for the global economy.

While there are not expected to be any major announcements at the signing, investors will be looking for signs of progress on the next part of negotiations for a wider agreement.

“Provided the deal inks a commitment from China to increase agricultural products and outlines a dependable enforcement mechanism, the market will go merrily along the way,” said AxiTrader's Stephen Innes.

AFP/APP

Posted on: 2020-01-13T17:26:00+05:00

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