Global stocks rose Friday after investors saw signs of possible progress toward a resolution of the U.S.-Chinese tariff war. Shares in China posted solid gains.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent to 6,882.48 and Germany‘s DAX advanced 0.3 percent to 10,931.24. France‘s CAC 40 shed 0.3 percent to 4,839.03. On Thursday, the FTSE 100 slide 0.4 percent, the CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent and the DAX retreated 0.1 percent. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent and that for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 0.2 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.4 percent to 2,596.01 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.2 percent to 27,082.01. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent to 20,666.07 and Seoul’s Kospi added 0.8 percent to 2,124.28. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was 0.5 percent higher at 5,879.60 while India’s Sensex shed 0.1 percent to 36,319.31. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also advanced.
US-CHINA TRADE: China announced its economy czar, Vice Premier Liu He, will visit Washington for talks on Jan. 30-31 aimed at ending the tariff war sparked by U.S. complaints about Beijing’s technology ambitions. Business groups and economists were looking for Liu and his American counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to take part in talks as a sign lower-level negotiations earlier in Beijing made progress. The Wall Street Journal reported Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was willing to roll back U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese goods, though it said Lighthizer and other officials opposed that idea.
ANALYST’S COMMENT: Asian markets welcome “the latest indication of further interest from the U.S. to resolve the U.S.-China trade uncertainty,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. “While skepticism may well persist, and worries build ahead of Chinese growth figures next week, the driving force for intraday market action belongs to trade.”
JAPAN INFLATION: Inflation in December came in weaker than expected, putting the central bank farther from its target of 2 percent. Prices rose 0.3 percent, down from November’s 0.8 percent, as tumbling food costs offset a rise in energy prices.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 43 cents to $52.50 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 24 cents on Thursday to close at $52.07. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 45 cents to $61.63 per barrel in London. It lost 14 cents the previous session to $61.18.
CURRENCY: The dollar advanced to 109.48 yen from Thursday’s 109.24 yen. The euro gained to $1.1391 from $1.1388.