New York, Aug 18: Wall Street stocks finished higher on increased hopes of a resolution of the US-China trade impasse, while European stocks were pressured by worries over Turkey.
US stocks, which were negative much of the morning, rallied following a midday Wall Street Journal report that Washington and Beijing were taking steps to try to resolve a trade dispute ahead of a November summit between US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
The S&P 500 finished up 0.3 percent.
“Clearly the market rallied after that Wall Street Journal report,” said Karl Haeling of LBBW. “At the same time though, the market did not rally that much.”
“The lack of details prevented a bigger rally,” he added. “There's still a lot of uncertainty about what all this means.”
The article added to positive sentiment after both sides on Thursday confirmed a resumption of talks, even though both parties are still expected to enact fresh tariffs next week.
“Markets are optimistic but remain wary,” said FXPro analyst Alexander Kuptsikevich.
– Turkish lira tumbles –
Meanwhile, a rebound in the Turkish lira was cut short by new threats by Ankara and Washington to impose more sanctions as the dispute over a jailed American pastor shows no sign of being resolved.
The ratings agency S&P on Friday also downgraded Turkish sovereign debt for the second time in four months, predicting a recession in 2019.
After spending most of the session lower, London's blue-chip FTSE-100 rallied in the final minutes of trading to close a couple points higher. Paris closed marginally lower while Frankfurt dipped 0.2 percent.
“The heightened tensions between the US and Turkey caused the Turkish lira to take a leg lower and this reignited fears that the European banking system could be shaken by either defaults or non-performing loans from Turkey,” said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK.
Turkey on Friday vowed to respond if the United States followed through on its threat to levy further sanctions if Ankara does not release an American pastor being held on terrorism charges.
After having clawed back most of its losses on Friday and Monday, when it shed 20 percent of its value against the dollar, the lira began falling again on the new sanctions threats, dropping by five percent at one point.
“The currency is not out of the woods yet and sellers are pushing to see at which level it will hold,” said City Index analyst Fiona Cincotta.
Among individual companies, Tesla Motors slumped 8.9 percent on continued fallout from Chief Executive Elon Musk's efforts to take the electric automaker private.
In an interview with The New York Times, Musk acknowledged exhaustion from overwork as regulators probe his statements about the plan on Twitter. Analysts said the interview deepened doubts about Musk's leadership.
Deere & Co added 2.4 percent after projecting that agricultural equipment sales would rise 30 percent in 2018. “Replacement demand for large agricultural equipment is driving sales even in the face of tensions over global trade and other geopolitical issues,” said Chief Executive Samuel Allen.
– Key figures around 2100 GMT –
- New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.4 percent at 25,669.32 (close)
- New York – S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 2,850.13 (close)
- New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.1 percent at 7,816.33 (close)
- London – FTSE 100: UP less than 0.1 percent at 7,558.59 (close)
- Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.2 percent at 12,210.55 (close)
- Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 5,344.92 (close)
- EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,372.94 (close)
- Dollar/Turkish lira: UP at 6.03 lira from 5.83 lira late on Thursday
- Euro/Turkish lira: UP at 6.91 lira from 6.64 lira
- Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1441 from $1.1377
- Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2749 from $1.2716
- Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.57 from 110.90 yen
- Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.35 percent at 22,270.38 (close)
- Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.4 percent at 27,213.41 (close)
- Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 1.34 percent at 2,668.97 (close)
- Oil – Brent Crude: UP 40 cents at $71.83 per barrel
- Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 45 cents at $65.91 per barrel