Equities and dollar ease, gold gains as investors remain wary of US-China trade war
EuroStoxx 50, oil and dollar suffer; gold and the euro gain after report of Chinese ‘pessimism’ over trade
European blue-chip stocks backed off their recent four-year highs on Monday, led by declines in the auto sector, while the dollar eased and gold gained on the back of some investor caution over the next likely developments in US-China trade negotiations.
A report from CNBC on Monday that quoted a Chinese government source saying there was a degree of pessimism over US President Donald Trump’s reluctance to roll back some tariffs sent most risk-linked assets lower, including the US dollar and commodity prices.
The EuroStoxx 50 index of major European shares fell 0.2 percent to close at 3,704.9 points, while London’s FTSE was little changed on the day, up 0.07 percent at 7,307.7 points and Germany’s export-focussed DAX fell 0.3 percent to close at 13,207.1 points.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 was virtually flat on the day, around 3,120.24 points, a whisker below last week’s record high of 3,120.80.
Despite reports from Chinese state media outlet Xinhua over the weekend citing “constructive talks” on trade between Washington and Beijing, investors were not convinced, which kept European shares below last week’s four-year peaks.
Three-month copper futures prices on the London Metal Exchange fell by about 0.4 percent to $5,812 a tonne. China is the world’s largest importer of copper, which forms the backbone of the global electrical and electronics industry.
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With the dollar under pressure against a number of major currencies, the gold price rose by around 0.4 per cent on the day to edge above $1,472 an ounce. Gold tends to move inversely to the US dollar, as investors take advantage of weakness in the US currency to buy other assets.
The euro was up about 0.2 percent at $1.108, while against the Japanese yen, the dollar was down about 0.14 percent at 108.61 yen.
In a sign that the world’s policymakers are ready to take action to ward off slowing economic growth, China’s central bank cut a key short-term lending rate on Monday for the first time in over four years. Reuters reported.