You are here

Global stocks rise on partial US-China trade deal

Sterling up on expectations that Brussels and London could avert a no-deal Brexit

By AFP - Oct 12,2019 - Last updated at Oct 12,2019

Traders and financial professionals work at the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday in New York City (AFP photo)

NEW YORK — Global stocks on rallied Friday as US-China trade negotiations yielded a partial deal, while the British pound surged for a second straight session on signs that London and Brussels could still avert a no-deal Brexit.

The US-China agreement, announced in the closing minutes of Friday's Wall Street session, halts new US tariffs that were scheduled to go into effect next week and includes a Chinese promise to ramp up purchases of American farm products.

Expectations of the deal boosted stocks all day, but major US indices retreated from their peaks in the final moments of the session, ending with gains of a bit more than one per cent.

Analysts said the stock market's pullback in the final moments likely reflected disappointment that the interim agreement did not go further, and left in place existing tariffs.

The announcement "sounds a little more limited than we were hoping for", said FTN Financial's Chris Low. "Nevertheless it is really good news."

The pact, characterised by US officials as the first phase in negotiations, capped a rollercoaster week for stocks, with the market retreating early in the week on doubts about the talks, but reversing course midweek as the signs from both sides became more conciliatory.

Beijing and Washington have been at loggerheads for more than a year, with US President Donald Trump emphasizing trade relations with China as a central tenet of his "America First" agenda.

"There was a lot of friction between the United States and China, now it's a love fest," Trump said. "It's beyond a trade deal."

Business groups praised the agreement, but alluded to the unresolved status of the broader trade conflict.

"Although this is a step in the right direction, the uncertainty continues," said David French, senior vice president at the National Retail Federation. 

"We urge both sides to stay at the negotiating table with the goal of lifting all tariffs and fundamentally resetting US-China trade relations."

Brexit deal? 


Earlier, European stocks also rallied, pushing higher on the positive developments on US-China and Brexit.

European officials were looking ahead to an EU leaders summit after an upbeat meeting on Thursday between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar revived hopes about a Brexit deal.

The British pound rallied after the European Commission announced the EU and Britain agreed to "intensify discussions over the coming days”.

"The Commission will take stock with the European Parliament and member states again on Monday," it added, to allow time to draw up the agenda of Thursday's EU summit.

The announcement also boosted the British pound.

David Cheetham at XTB said the latest developments may "be a pivotal turning point in negotiations" but more "clarity" was needed.

But Fawad Razaqzada at also seemed to question the wisdom of buying into the British currency with such abandon despite lacking all the facts.

"Traders are evidently happy to be buying the rumours and will be asking questions later," he said.

8 users have voted.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
10 + 7 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.