By Herbert Lash
NEWYORK (Reuters) – Equity markets in Europe and the United States climbed and safe-haven bond prices fell on Wednesday after the White House said it had received an indication from China that it wanted to make a trade deal with the United States that had appeared on the brink of unravelling.
Gold prices slipped after climbing to a more than three-week high as safe-haven demand eased and the U.S. dollar traded near break even as traders weighed news about progress in the U.S.-Sino trade talks.
The United States moved closer towards raising tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports on Friday after a notice was posted to the Federal Register.
No further word came from the White House after its China announcement.
Trade delegations from Washington and Beijing are scheduled to begin their latest round of talks on Thursday.
Reuters earlier quoted U.S. government and private-sector sources as saying China had backtracked on almost all aspects of a draft trade agreement with the United States.
Stocks on Wall Street rebounded as did major indices in Europe, while MSCI’s gauge of equity performance in 47 countries traded mostly flat, adding 0.02%.
Earlier in Asia, shares outside Japan closed 0.94% lower and Japan’s Nikkei index lost 1.46%.
Two weeks ago, the market had viewed resolution of the Sino-U.S. trade talks as a foregone conclusion, and with it back on the table, volatility has picked up, said Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist at INTLFCStone Financial Inc in New York.
“People put on risk since late December and now they’re having to grapple with uncertainty on a topic they were almost certain about two weeks ago,” Abbasi said. “It puts you in a precarious position.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110.14 points, or 0.42%, to 26,075.23. The S&P 500 gained 8.19 points, or 0.28%, to 2,892.24 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.41 points, or 0.22%, to 7,981.16.
Bond prices fell on the White House announcement, with the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipping 10/32 in price to push up its yield to 2.4835%.
Portuguese, Irish and Spanish yields hit historic lows and Portugal saw firm demand at an auction, but Italian yields rose on concerns over tension within Rome’s ruling coalition.
Portuguese 10-year bond yields fell to a record low of 1.07 percent and Spain’s 10-year bond yield fell to a more than two-year low of 0.94 percent. Irish long-dated bond yields dropped below 0.5 percent for the first time since December 2017.
The dollar index fell 0.01%, with the euro up 0.01% to $1.1191. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.11% versus the greenback at 110.15 per dollar.
West Texas Intermediate oil futures rose more than 1%, boosted by a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles. U.S. crude inventories fell by 4 million barrels in the week to May 3, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts had expected an increase of 1.2 million barrels.
Brent crude futures settled up 49 cents at $70.37 a barrel. U.S. WTI crude futures rose 72 cents to settle at $62.12 a barrel.
U.S. gold futures settled down 0.3% at $1,281.40. Earlier they had touched $1,292.80.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bernadette Baum)