US-China trade hopes lift stocks, oil hits three-month high

US crude rose 0.37 per cent to US$57.17 (RM232.89) per barrel and Brent was last at US$67.00, down 0.1 per cent on the day. — Reuters pic
US crude rose 0.37 per cent to US$57.17 (RM232.89) per barrel and was last at US$67.00, down 0.1 per cent on the day. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Feb 23 ― Stocks rose in major markets across the world yesterday on bets of progress in trade talks between and the United States, while crude futures hit their highest level in more than three months supported by ongoing supply cuts.

US President Donald Trump said yesterday that there was a very good chance the United States would strike a deal with China to end their trade war and that he was inclined to extend his March 1 deadline to reach an agreement.

US and Chinese negotiators meeting in Washington had made progress and would extend this week’s round of negotiations by two days, he said.

Main stock indexes on rose as the optimistic trade talk more than offset signs of slower growth in both US earnings and the economy, with the S&P 500 posting a fourth consecutive week of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 181.18 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 26,031.81, the S&P 500 gained 17.79 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 2,792.67 and the Nasdaq Composite added 67.84 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 7,527.55.

The Dow rose for the ninth consecutive week.

Overnight, shares in Asia were buoyed by a late rally in Chinese shares, with the main blue-chip index rising more than 2 per cent to a near seven-month high.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.73 per cent after touching the highest level since August. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia- shares outside Japan closed 0.7 per cent higher, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.18 per cent.

Trade talks and a growing number of policy U-turns by global central banks have propped up in recent weeks, although

this week saw the first outflows from emerging market debt and equity funds since October 2018, Bank of Merrill Lynch strategists said, citing EPFR data.

Crude rising

Oil prices touched their highest level in more than three months, supported by Opec supply cuts as well as the trade developments. US oil supply, however, limited gains in post-settle trade.

US crude rose 0.37 per cent to US$57.17 (RM232.89) per barrel and Brent was last at US$67.00, down 0.1 per cent on the day.

In currencies, the was little changed against a basket of peers. The dollar index fell 0.05 per cent, with the euro down 0.03 per cent to US$1.1331.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.03 per cent versus the greenback at 110.68 per dollar. Sterling was last trading at US$1.3053, up 0.03 per cent on the day.

The Australian dollar recovered a day after falling more than 1 per cent after Reuters reported the Chinese port of Dalian had barred imports of Australian coal indefinitely. China said yesterday that imports would continue, but customs has stepped up checks on foreign cargoes.

Separate comments by Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe that a rate increase may be appropriate next year also helped to boost the Aussie dollar.

The Aussie dollar recently gained 0.56 per cent versus the greenback at 0.7128.

Despite gains on risky assets, safe-haven US Treasuries also gained in price. Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 10/32 in price to yield 2.6536 per cent, from 2.688 per cent late on Thursday.

The 30-year last rose 18/32 in price to yield 3.0159 per cent, from 3.045 per cent late on Thursday.

Spot added 0.4 per cent to US$1,328.20 an ounce. US futures gained 0.21 per cent to $1,330.60 an ounce.

Copper rose 1.52 per cent to US$6,477.00 a tonne. ― Reuters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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