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Stocks stay strong as Europe shrugs off Samsung warning

World, European indexes at 3-week high

By Reuters - Jan 08,2019 - Last updated at Jan 08,2019

In this photo taken on December 19, 2018, traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange (AFP file photo)

LONDON — A solid start from Europe kept world stocks at a three-week high on Tuesday after Asia was knocked back by a shock profit warning from tech giant Samsung and a tick-up in borrowing costs.

Hopes that Washington and Beijing may be moving towards a trade deal also helped the mood again and gave the dollar a lift in the currency markets after its weak start to the year.

That rise, along with the alarm from South Korea's Samsung that it would badly miss its earnings forecasts caused a swoon in emerging markets, but Europe held its nerve unlike last week after a similar warning from Apple.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.6 per cent, Britain's FTSE was up 0.5 per cent amid reports of a Brexit delay and Italian banks jumped almost 1 per cent as Rome stepped in to support another of its troubled lenders.

"I think the market has been quite extreme in pricing recession risks, so I think we have value now in both the equity and bond markets," SEB investment management's global head of asset allocation Hans Peterson said. 

"The discussions between the US and China will take some time but I think the markets are prepared to move in the right direction on positive signals". 

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted on Monday that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal that "we can live with" as dozens of officials from the world's two largest economies resumed talks in a bid to end their trade dispute.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 had gained 0.7 per cent following 3.4 per cent surge on Friday, with Amazon.com and Netflix leading the recovery rally after a brutal end to 2018.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan reversed early gains, however, to end down 0.2 per cent. It was dragged lower by falls in South Korea due to Samsung and in China where government bond yields also saw their biggest daily gain in 9 months 

China's Foreign Ministry said Beijing had the "good faith" to work with the United States to resolve trade frictions, but many analysts doubt the two sides can reach a comprehensive agreement on all of the issues before a March deadline.

"Various concerns markets had earlier are receding for now. Still, there's no denying that US [company] earnings momentum is slowing," said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.

"Ultimately we need to see whether upcoming earnings reports can dispel market concerns."

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