S&P 500 eases amid US-China trade uncertainty

A trader passes by screens showing Spotify on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange March 13, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, March 15 — The S&P 500 slipped yesterday, snapping a three-day streak of gains, as uncertainty over when a trade deal between the United States and China would be reached left investors on edge.

US President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said yesterday that discussions with China to end a months-long trade war are progressing quickly, though Trump said he could not say whether a final deal would be reached.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had been expected to hold a summit in Florida this month, but no date has been set. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters there “were rumblings” about a possible meeting late next month.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that a meeting between the two was more likely to take place in April at the earliest.

Chipmakers, which rely on China for a large portion of their revenue, lost ground, with the Philadelphia SE chip index off 0.6 per cent.

“The good news is mildly negative news on China trade doesn’t tip the apple cart over anymore,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

“But breaking out of the next level of resistance has been a wall to get through. It shows we’re probably range-bound 2,750 to 2,800 until we get answers to China trade, Brexit etc.,” he said, referring to the level of the S&P 500.

In the latest of a series of votes, British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly yesterday to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.05 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 25,709.94, the S&P 500 lost 2.44 points, or 0.09 per

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