Equities rise as trade war fears recede

By IFCMarkets

Dow snapped four session losing streak

US stocks recovered Monday as trade war fears subsided. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% to 2720.94 with all of 11 main sectors closing higher. The Dow Jones industrial jumped 1.4% to 24874.76, snapping four session losing streak. TheNasdaq composite index added 1% to 7330.70. The dollar strengthened slightly: the live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, inched up 0.1% to 89.99. Stock indices futures point to higher openings today.

Positive economic data helped boost market sentiment undermined by hawkish comments of central bank officials and fears over the potential for global trade war after President Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum import tariffs. House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed back against the plan while other top Republicans expressed concerns in a letter. The Markit services purchasing managers index for February came in at 55.9, compared with 53.3 that was expected. And while the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index for February slipped to 59.5 from 59.9, it still signals rapid growth in services sector activity.



European stocks advance

European stocks rose on Monday despite expectations Sunday’s Italian election results will indicate a hung parliament. The British Pound continued advancing against the dollar while the euro ended little changed. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 1%. The DAX 30 added 1.5% to 12090.87. France’s CAC 40 closed 0.6% higher and UK’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.7% to 7115.98. Indices opened 0.2% – 1.2% higher today.

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Italian stocks fell as populist parties unexpectedly won about half of the votes, according to initial projections. But no one party won majority, which may result in a period of political uncertainty for euro-zone’s third-biggest economy. But in Germany, Social Democrats voted to support a grand coalition government which allows Chancellor Angela Merkel to serve a fourth term as Germany’s leader.

Asian stocks recover

Asian stock indices are higher today as global trade war fears moderated after President Trump suggested that US tariffs on steel and aluminum were negotiable in comments directed at Canada and Mexico. Nikkei rose 1.7% to 21400.50 helped by extended yen slide against the dollar. Chinese stocks are solidly higher: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 07% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 2.1% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index is up 1.1% despite Australian dollar turning higher against the US dollar after export data beat forecasts and the central bank gave an upbeat assessment of the economy, even as it left interest rates unchanged.

Brent up on rising demand forecast

Brent futures prices are extending gains today on strong demand forecasts. Prices rose Monday after reports of decline in last week’s crude supplies at Cushing, New York Mercantile Exchange’s delivery point. May Brent crude settled 1.8% higher at $65.54 a barrel on Monday.

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