Futures on the S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ 100 extended a Wall Street rally this morning, tuning into an improved trade outlook and expected dovishness by the European Central Bank. Incongruously, though, Treasurys and gold also gained ground, conveying an overall mood of cautious waiting.
This was also reflected in the STOXX 600 giving up its highest open since late July, to waver below neutral levels by late European morning. Early gains were spurred by further signs of U.S.-China trade de-escalation, after U.S. President Donald Trump said an upcoming round of tariff hikes on £250bn worth of Chinese imports will be delayed by two weeks. Trump's goodwill move comes after China pledged to buy more U.S. agricultural goods ahead of trade negotiations next month.
The pan-European index halted a third-day climb, after edging higher for seven sessions out of eleven since the Aug. 26 low, which had nudged it just 0.54% away from the July 4 peak.
Earlier, Asian indices got a boost from positive trade cues, with the exception of Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-0.26%). The index was weighed down by Taiwan warnings against travel to Hong Kong and China, after Taiwan citizen Lee Meng-chu was detained by Chinese authorities on national security grounds for allegedly sharing a photo of armored vehicles near the border with Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Exchange Group made a surprise $37bn takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange.
On Wednesday, U.S. equities including large-cap shares on the Dow Jones (+0.85%) jumped, closing at the top of the session and near record highs, as momentum stocks were back in fashion.
President Donald Trump’s renewed calls on the Fed to cut interest rates to “zero or less” contributed to push value stocks back to the end of the line. Meanwhile, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiling of lower iPhones price tags and of an affordable TV streaming service helped the NASDAQ Composite (+1.06%) surge to the highest level since July, while the S&P 500 (+0.72%) closed above the 3,000 mark for the first time in six weeks.
Despite the surge in risk appetite, yields on 10-year Treasurys returned to declines as they neared the downtrend line since Apr. 17.
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