Global stocks rally ends amid doubts of imminent US-China deal

03 November 2018
Global stocks rally ends amid doubts of imminent US-China deal
US President Donald J. Trump speaks to members of the news media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 02 November 2018. Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Hopes for a speedy resolution to the US-China trade impasse lifted Asian stocks early Friday but gave way to doubts later in the global trading day that pushed Wall Street lower.

Trading in Asia started with a bang after US President Donald Trump hailed positive talks with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, which was a rare sign of hope in the stand-off between the world's top two economies.

A report by Bloomberg News later said Trump had asked officials to draw up a draft bill as he eyes a potential trade deal between the two.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo all rose more than 2.5 percent, while the positive commentary also boosted European shares.

US stocks too got off to a winning start but the momentum quickly vanished on doubts about the likelihood of an imminent agreement.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow poured cold water on expectations for a breakthrough, telling CNBC "there's no massive movement to deal with trade," in an interview that helped push stocks lower.

Trump himself then told reporters that he expected a "very good deal" with China, helping to lift stocks marginally from session lows. But US stocks finished the session solidly lower, ending a three-day winning streak, with the S&P 500 shedding 0.6 percent.

"The wind was taken out of the sails" by the "walking-back" from Trump officials on trade, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. "The largest headwind in this market is China trade."

Sentiment on Wall Street was further dented by Apple, which slumped 6.6 percent as investors focused on lower-than-expected volume of iPhone sales and expressed disappointment at the fourth-quarter sales outlook, which was lower than some analysts expected.

In the closely-watched jobs report, the Labor Department reported the US added 250,000 net new positions in October, handily overshooting forecasts.

That data, along with the fastest gain in wages since April 2009 at a 3.1 percent annual increase, helped cement expectations the US Federal Reserve will continue to gradually increase interest rates.

"The key takeaway from that report is that it is consistent with labor market trends that will keep the Federal Reserve on a tightening path," said analyst Patrick O'Hare.

- Key figures around 2030 GMT –

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.4 percent at 25,270.83 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.6 percent at 2,723.06 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 1.0 percent at 7,356.99 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,094.12 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.4 percent at 11,518.99 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 5,102.13 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,214.41 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.6 percent at 22,243.66 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 4.2 percent at 26,486.35 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 2.7 percent at 2,676.48 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2967 from $1.3012 at 2100 GMT

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1394 from $1.1408

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.20 yen from 112.72 yen

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 55 cents at $63.14 per barrel

Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 6 cents at $72.83 per barrel