By Herbert Lash
NEWYORK (Reuters) – The dollar strengthened and global stock markets rallied on Monday on signs the United States and China are nearing the end of a damaging trade war as well as indications the world economy may yet dodge a recession.
The three major U.S. stock indexes set record intraday highs and MSCI’s gauge of equity performance across the globe rose to less than 2% from an all-time peak set in January 2018.
Beijing and Washington spoke Friday of progress in trade talks and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday licenses for U.S. companies to sell components to China’s blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co will come shortly.
Washington has effectively banned federal agencies from buying Huawei telecommunications equipment and barred U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei, citing national security.
Gold edged lower while the dollar gained on higher risk appetite as trade hopes grew after Ross said there was no reason a deal could not be on track for signing this month.
A generally upbeat U.S. employment report on Friday added to optimism that the slowing U.S. economy was not headed toward recession.
“Market trends are being influenced by a better risk mood overall,” said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.
European shares rallied more than 1%, with many reaching their highest level since January 2018. The STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> of small, mid-sized and large companies across Europe surged to highs last seen in July 2015.
Tariff-exposed European miners <.SXPP> gained 2.9% while auto stocks <.SXAP> also rose 2.9%. Reports that Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI> and Peugeot owner PSA <PEUP.PA> aimed to sign a final merger agreement as early as next month also lifted stocks.
Earlier, trade hopes sent Asian stocks surging, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> up 1.3%.
Technology stocks boosted Wall Street, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index <.SOX> hitting a new high, up 2.02%.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.48% while its emerging markets rose 1.34%.
“Signing these deals takes time. All that is needed for markets to be happy right now is for an agreement to be announced,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 96.51 points, or 0.35%, to 27,443.87. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 12.15 points, or 0.40%, to 3,079.06 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 53.33 points, or 0.64%, to 8,439.73.
The euro slipped as investors awaited Christine Lagarde’s first speech as European Central Bank president. But the single currency remained near its highest levels in weeks after Ross said in the interview that Washington may not slap tariffs on imported vehicles after “good conversations” with automakers in the European Union, Japan and Korea.
The dollar index <.DXY> rose 0.33%, with the euro <EUR=> down 0.19% to $1.1144. The Japanese yen <JPY=> weakened 0.43% versus the greenback at 108.62 per dollar.
Euro zone and U.S. bond yields rose on optimism a U.S.-China trade deal appeared near.
Data on Monday showed morale among investors in the euro zone jumped in November to its highest since June.
Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield was at -0.35% <DE10YT=RR> while the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note <US10YT=RR> fell 17/32 in price to push its yield up to 1.7875%.
Oil prices rose, buoyed by an improved outlook for crude demand as better-than-expected U.S. jobs growth fed hopes.
Brent crude futures for January <LCOc1> rose 44 cents to settle at $62.13 a barrel. U.S. crude futures <CLc1> settled up 34 cents at $56.54 a barrel.
Spot gold <XAU=> dropped 0.4% to $1,507.25 an ounce.
For a graphic on China’s yuan:
(Reporting by Herbert Lash, additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)