Markets Report: Wall St rises on US-China trade hopes

Washington and Beijing are getting close to agreeing on the amount of tariffs to be rolled back, Bloomberg reported, a day after comments from US president Donald Trump and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross dampened hopes of a possible near-term agreement.

A record run for the three main indices, fuelled by optimism on trade, came to a halt at the end of last week as political risks heightened between the countries over Hong Kong.

The back-and-forth on trade has made investors wary after the final month of 2018 was the worst December on Wall Street since the Great Depression.

Tariff-exposed semiconductor companies also rose, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index up 1.8pc. Shares of Apple gained 0.7pc.

Markets had a knee-jerk reaction to the ADP National Employment Report, which showed US private employers added the fewest jobs in six months in November.

In mid-morning trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 210.03 points, or 0.76pc, at 27,712.84, the S&P 500 was up 24.42 points, or 0.79pc, at 3,117.62 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 62.35 points, or 0.73pc, at 8,583.

All of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, with energy stocks gaining the most as oil prices surged 3pc.

Google parent Alphabet rose 1.5pc as Sundar Pichai took over as CEO after Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped aside.

Johnson & Johnson gained 1.3pc after it said recent tests showed Johnson’s Baby Powder was free of asbestos.

Expedia jumped 8.8pc – the most on the S&P 500 – after its CEO and finance head resigned.

In London, the FTSE 100 also rose on the back of improved US-China trade sentiment. It advanced 0.3pc, boosted by Asia-exposed HSBC and oil majors. Heavyweight miners gave up initial losses to lend further support.

That helped Britain’s blue-chip index shrug off losses in exporter

Read More Here...

Bookmark the permalink.