Stocks gain on U.S.-China trade truce hopes, dollar flat

Stocks gain on U.S.-China trade truce hopes, dollar flat

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global equity markets gained and the dollar held steady on Thursday ahead of the G20 summit where a much-anticipated meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping may lead to a truce in the U.S.-China trade war.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

The world’s two largest economies have agreed to a tentative truce in their trade dispute before the planned meeting on Saturday, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported, citing sources.

The report rekindled investor interest in riskier assets and weighed on safe-havens as it dialed down fears that Trump would impose new tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods.

A Wall Street Journal report that Xi planned to present Trump with a set of terms Washington should meet before Beijing is ready to settle their dispute tempered optimism.

“I continue to be very skeptical that the U.S., at least this current administration, will reach a deal with China,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in New York.

“I can’t find any compelling reasons why China would make real concessions to the U.S.,” Hooper said.

The dollar index, which tracks the dollar against the euro, Japanese yen, sterling and three other currencies, traded slightly lower at 96.205. The dollar was little changed against the euro and the yen.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.46%, while both the pan-European STOXX 600 index and the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares closed basically at break-even.

Stocks on Wall Street gained.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 33.31 points, or 0.13%, to 26,570.13. The S&P 500 gained 12.85 points, or 0.44%, to 2,926.63 and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.31 points, or 0.72%, to 7,967.28.

Healthcare rose 0.82% and financials gained 0.78%, with big lenders leading the charge ahead of results of the second part of the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test for banks. Semiconductor companies, which have a sizable revenue exposure to China, traded higher, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index rising 1.55%.

U.S. Treasury debt yields fell on concerns that trade discussions between the United States and China on Saturday may be more complicated than previously expected.

News headlines suggest that “the meeting in Osaka is going to be a lot more tense than some of the initial optimism suggested,” said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 12/32 in price to push its yield lower to 2.0054%.

German government bond yields fell back toward record lows after data showed annual inflation in the euro zone’s biggest economy remained well below the European Central Bank’s target.

Germany’s 10-year bond yield was down 1.2 basis points at minus 0.32%, nearing Tuesday’s record low of minus 0.336%.

FILE PHOTO: An attendent cleans the carpet next to U.S. and Chinese national flags before a news conference for the 6th round of U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, July 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Oil prices settled little changed, weighed by concerns over whether the G20 summit will produce a breakthrough on trade and perceptions that supply is ample despite prospects for continued curbs by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 6 cents to settle at $66.55 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled up 5 cents to $59.43.

U.S. gold futures settled 0.2% lower at $1,412 an ounce.

Reporting by Herbert Lash in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish

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