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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Stock markets climb as crunch G20 summit gets underway

As heads of the world’s 20 leading economies began their summit in Osaka, Trump said he was hopeful that Saturday’s talks would be “productive”.

business Updated: Jun 28, 2019 19:24 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Global equities have enjoyed a largely positive couple of weeks on hopes for progress in the head-to-head meeting between the leaders of the world’s top two economies, though the possibility of failure persists.
Global equities have enjoyed a largely positive couple of weeks on hopes for progress in the head-to-head meeting between the leaders of the world’s top two economies, though the possibility of failure persists.(HT Photo)
         

London, June 28, 2019 (AFP) - European and US stocks climbed on Friday as investors kept a watch on developments at a G20 summit in Japan, where US President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are due to hold key trade talks.

As heads of the world’s 20 leading economies began their summit in Osaka, Trump said he was hopeful that Saturday’s talks would be “productive”.

Global equities have enjoyed a largely positive couple of weeks on hopes for progress in the head-to-head meeting between the leaders of the world’s top two economies, though the possibility of failure persists.

Traders were biding their time on Friday, with London’s main FTSE 100 index drifting 0.2 percent higher in afternoon trading. Paris added 0.4 percent and Frankfurt rose 0.6 percent.

Wall Street opened higher, with the Dow gaining 0.4 percent.

The mood in Asia was more downbeat with Shanghai ending down 0.6 percent and Tokyo and Hong Kong each off 0.3 percent.

The dollar was down slightly against main rivals, while sterling did not react to official data confirming that Britain’s Brexit-facing economy grew by 0.5 percent in the first quarter.

- ‘Greatest threat’ -

Saturday’s Trump-Xi “meeting is hugely important as the trade war represents arguably the greatest threat to the global economy -- especially if it is allowed to escalate further”, Craig Erlam, senior analyst at Oanda trading group, told AFP.

There remains some uncertainty about how the meeting will go, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Xi plans to demand the US reverse a ban on doing business with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei as a condition for kickstarting talks.

Trade war talks had stalled last month when Trump hiked tariffs on some Chinese goods.

“The Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 is front and centre,” said analyst Neil Wilson at Markets.com.

“I would think that for Trump and Xi to agree to delay the additional tariffs and for detailed talks to resume would be sufficient to leave investors happy that things are moving.”

Elsewhere Friday, world oil prices drifted higher as dealers await next week’s output meeting of OPEC and other top crude-producing nations, notably Russia.

OPEC is on red alert over escalating US-Iran tensions that have fuelled recent strong oil-price gains -- but producers are likely to extend output cuts agreed late last year, according to analysts.

“The outcome of the OPEC meeting in Vienna on Monday seems to be a done deal,” noted City Index analyst Fiona Cincotta.

“Most of the major players have already indicated that the group plans to extend production cuts put in place in December and there has been no major dissenting voice among the oil producers.”

At the end of a volatile week for bitcoin, the cryptocurrency shot to $11,651, up nearly $1,000 from Thursday.

- Key figures around 1330 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,415.63 points

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 5,517.76

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.6 percent at 12,339.07

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 3,458.55

New York - Dow: UP 0.4 percent at 26,618

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 percent at 21,275.92 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 28,542.62 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.6 percent at 2,978.88 (close)

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN four cents at $66.59 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN six cents at $59.49 per barrel

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1379 from $1.1369 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2703 from $1.2674

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.76 yen from 107.79

Gold: UP at $1,414.40 per ounce from $1,409.78

Bitcoin - UP at $11,650.89 from $10,686.14

First Published: Jun 28, 2019 19:24 IST

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