Stocks edge up, dollar dips with G20 in focus

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks posted modest gains on Friday and the dollar dipped ahead of a meeting on trade between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as global equities were poised to cap off their best first half since 1997.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Trump and Xi will meet during a Group of 20 summit this weekend in Osaka, Japan, for talks that could help resolve a year-long trade war between China and the United States, as signs of its dampening effect on global growth have become more prevalent.

Economic data on Friday showed U.S. consumer spending increased moderately in May and prices rose slightly, pointing to slowing economic growth and benign inflation pressures, which could give the Federal Reserve enough leeway to cut interest rates in July.

Wall Street opened with slight gains, although each of the major indexes were on pace to snap a three-week winning streak. The S&P 500 was set for its best June performance since 1955.

“It feels like the market has priced in the best possible outcome here,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

“I continue to believe this is an asymmetrical risk – that the upside here is a couple percent the downside is a whole lot more than that if it falls apart.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.17 points, or 0.11%, to 26,556.75, the S&P 500 gained 5.56 points, or 0.19%, to 2,930.48 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.10 points, or 0.14%, to 7,978.86.

European indexes also moved higher ahead of the meeting, with Germany’s trade-sensitive DAX leading the way with a gain of more than 1%.

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