Stocks climb on hopes for progress in trade; sterling edges up - Metro US

Stocks climb on hopes for progress in trade; sterling edges up

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares on world stock indexes mostly rose on Monday, as hopes for resolving the U.S.-China trade war pushed investors toward riskier assets, while the pound was near a 5-1/2-month high.

The British parliament’s speaker refused to allow a vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit divorce deal, suggesting Johnson faces further problems in the Brexit ratification.

Johnson was hit in parliament on Saturday by opponents who demanded a change to the sequencing of the ratification of the deal, exposing the prime minister to a law that forced him to request a delay until Jan. 31.

MSCI’s world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS>, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.6%. The Euro STOXX 600 <.STOXX> added 0.7%, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> index was up 0.5%.

Investors in Asia earlier were boosted by comments on Friday by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He that Beijing will collaborate with the United States to address mutual concerns on the trade war.

U.S. President Donald Trump had also struck an optimistic tone on Friday, saying he thought a trade deal would be signed before an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Chile next month.

“Any kind of positive development on trade just gets people a little excited, although it is too optimistic to believe that they will reach a whole trade deal as early as mid-November,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

The 2020 U.S. presidential election was also influencing the talks, investors said, with Trump looking to avoid the possibility of tariffs imposed by China hurting his voters.

Stocks investors are also gearing up for high-profile earnings reports this week from such companies as Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 23 points, or 0.09%, to 26,793.2, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 15.29 points, or 0.51%, to 3,001.49 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 60.40 points, or 0.75%, to 8,149.95.

The dollar was heading toward its worst month since January 2018 amid sterling’s gain.

Against the dollar, sterling was last up 0.1% in North American trade, having earlier broken above $1.30 for the first time in 5-1/2 months. The euro was 0.18% higher against the dollar , having also been lifted by Brexit optimism this month by 2.23%.

In the U.S. bond market, benchmark 10-year notes last fell 11/32 in price to yield 1.787%, from 1.75% late on Friday.

In commodities, U.S. crude fell 1.1% to $53.19 per barrel and Brent was last at $58.60, down 1.38% on the day.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Additional reporting by Tom Wilson in London; Editing by Larry King and Matthew Lewis)

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