TOKYO (AP) — Global shares meandered in a narrow range yesterday despite another session of record highs on Wall Street.
Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1 per cent lower to 7,565.53 while the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.2 per cent to 5,981.93. Germany’s DAX was little changed at 13,216.25. United States (US) shares were set for a tepid start, with the future contract for the S&P 500 down less than 0.1 per cent and the contract for the Dow Jones 0.03 per cent lower.
There was little apparent reaction after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that a preliminary trade deal with China would be ready for signing in early January. Mnuchin told CNBC that he was “very confident” the deal would help rebalance trade and open Chinese markets to more American products and services.
The deal with Beijing is “just going through what I would consider to be a technical, legal scrub,” Mnuchin said. He said he expected the agreement to result in a doubling of US farm exports to China and that American farmers would be up to the task. China, however, has not confirmed any details of its plans for purchases of US farm products. A Commerce Ministry spokesman in Beijing on Thursday said only that the two sides were in “close communication”.
The major US stock indexes have climbed to record highs as investors welcomed the news that Washington and Beijing had taken steps to cool their trade conflict.
“Indeed, agreement of the ‘Phase 1’ deal between the US and China has removed quite a lot of uncertainties in the outlook for 2020, and with the global growth revival trade is looking better and better by the day, equity investors are revelling in the holiday cheer,” Stephen Innes of AxiTrader said in a commentary.
In Asia yesterday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index edged 0.2 per cent lower to 23,816.63 and the S&P ASX 200 in Australia lost 0.3 per cent to 6,816.30. The Shanghai Composite index shed 0.4 per cent to 3,004.94. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 0.3 per cent to 27,871.35, while the Sensex in Mumbai advanced 0.1 per cent to 41,727.67. South Korea’s Kospi picked up 0.4 per cent to 2,204.18. Shares fell in most of Southeast Asia.
Trump became just the third US President to be impeached after the House voted on Wednesday on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress in an investigation.
The President had warned months ago that his impeachment would roil markets, but traders say it has virtually no impact. That’s mostly because they see it as extremely unlikely that he or his market-friendly policies will leave office before the end of his term.
“We’ve kind of known how this was going to play out for months,” said Chief Investment Officer at Horizon Investments Scott Ladner. “That just means that everybody has had an opinion, and whatever opinion that is it’s been priced into the market.”
Overnight, US markets shrugged off the impeachment of President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives, choosing to focus instead on encouraging earnings reports from several big companies. The broad gains on Wall Street erased the S&P 500’s slight losses from a day earlier. The benchmark index has notched gains six out of the past seven days.
The S&P 500 rose 0.4 per cent to 3,205.37. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5 per cent, to 28,376.96, a record. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.7 per cent to 8,887.22, also a record. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks added 0.3 per cent to 1,667.09. A gauge measuring how worried traders are about upcoming swings for the S&P 500 rose only 0.6 per cent.
Benchmark crude oil lost three cents to USD61.15 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 11 cents to USD66.65 a barrel.
The dollar was unchanged at JPY109.35. The euro was unchanged, at USD1.1121.