By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major world stock indexes and oil prices jumped on Thursday as investor optimism grew following a report that the United States is considering a delay in imposing tariffs on Mexican imports.
The Mexican peso also surged after the Bloomberg News report, which cited unidentified sources saying that U.S. President Donald Trump could put off implementing the tariffs he has threatened to impose on Mexican goods as soon as Monday.
Adding to investor bullishness was a Washington Post report on the outlines of an immigration deal being discussed by U.S. and Mexican officials to thwart the threatened tariffs.
Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey, said that while investors are viewing the tariff delay news as a positive, they are likely to remain guarded when it comes to trade-related news.
“When you have a fluid situation in terms of the tariffs, it calls for caution and patience on the part of investors,” she said.
After the closing bell, a White House spokeswoman said the Monday deadline for tariffs on Mexico has not changed, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Mexico has to take decisive action on immigration to avoid tariffs.
Earlier in the day, Trump said he would decide on whether to levy more tariffs on China “probably right after the G20,” which is being held on June 28-29. That came after his overnight threat to put tariffs on “at least” another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.
On Wall Street, Thursday was the first time since mid-May that the three major indexes gained ground for three sessions in a row.
Hopes of an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve have helped to support the market amid the trade tensions and mixed economic data that has rekindled worries about the health of the world’s top economies.
Friday brings the closely watched monthly U.S. jobs report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 181.09 points, or 0.71%, to 25,720.66, the S&P 500 gained 17.34 points, or 0.61%, to 2,843.49, and the Nasdaq Composite added 40.08 points, or 0.53%, to 7,615.55.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.02% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.33%.
Mexico’s peso gained as much as 1.2% from where it was trading before the Bloomberg report on the Mexico tariffs. Earlier, it suffered a double whammy of trade woes with the United States and a downgrade of the country’s credit rating.
In late trading, the Mexican peso lost 0.57% versus the U.S. dollar to 19.71.
The dollar index fell 0.28%, with the euro up 0.49% to $1.1274.
Oil prices jumped on the U.S.-Mexico trade report. U.S. crude rose 2.73% to $53.09 per barrel.
U.S. YIELD CURVE FLATTENS
The U.S. Treasury yield curve flattened as the European Central Bank committed to leaving interest rates alone into the first half of 2020.
The gap between two-year and 10-year yields narrowed by 4.4 basis points to 23.30 basis point.
The ECB’s move disappointed traders who had bet on a rate cut, but most yields ended the day higher in the wake of the Bloomberg report on tariffs.
In late U.S. trading, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were up 0.80 basis point at 2.131%.
(GRAPHIC-Asia stock markets link: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4).
(GRAPHIC-Asia-Pacific valuations link: https://tmsnrt.rs/2Dr2BQA).
(GRAPHIC-MSCI All Country World Index Market Cap link: http://tmsnrt.rs/2EmTD6j).
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Additional reporting by Richard Leong and Laila Kearney in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler and Leslie Adler)