Global stock markets respond positively to US/China trade talks

In the UK and Europe tech stocks dominate the day’s trading

Stock markets across the globe enjoyed a fairly solid Friday buoyed by positive news about the US/China trade talks.

The exception was the UK, where London’s 0'>FTSE 100 endured a trying morning with shares falling from the opening price of 7292.76 to 7245.25 by lunchtime. Much of this was a response to an announcement by the Labour Party that it would nationalise BT’s Openreach wing as part of its election pledge to offer free broadband. The telecoms company’s shares fell 3.6 per cent in early trading, and closed down 1.15 per cent at 193p.

The markets did however bounce back with many commenting that it was an unlikely scenario given that Labour are trailing in opinion polls.

There was bad news for investors in Fuller Smith & Turner which issued a profit warning after the costs associated with the sale of its brewing business earlier this year to Japan's Asahi were 'materially higher' than expected. Shares in the company fell more than three per cent before recovering to close down 0.95 per cent.

The FTSE finished the day on 7302.94, up 0.14 per cent.

In the US, on top of the promising news from China, came figures from the Commerce Department showing that retail sales rose had risen 0.3 per cent in October, topping expectations.

Early trading on the 0'>S&P 500 stock index was brisk after its record closing high on Thursday.

China though was still the big story. “Investors continue to hang onto every word associated with the US/China trade war,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell. “White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow reportedly said that current negotiations between the two countries are ‘very constructive.”

The 0'>Dow Jones was 27919.70 in afternoon trading while the S&P 500 3113.65

European investors also responded positively to the US and China trade news with the pan-European STOXX 600 index opening strongly before dipping a little around lunchtime. It ended the day up 0.26 per cent and reported a sixth straight weekly gain.

It proved to be a good week for European tech companies with shares in chipmakers Infineon, 0'>STMicroelectronics and 0'>ASML Holding all up between 0.8 per cent and one per cent, after Applied Materials predicted a strong first quarter ahead of the 5G rollout in key markets. France’s biggest telecoms operator, 0'>Orange, who said it was preparing to split its mobile towers unit into a separate company, also pushed shares upwards.

In Asia, the Hang Seng index was up 0.011 per cent after a quietish day’s trading, while Japan's Nikkei 225 rose by +0.70 per cent.The Shanghai Composite fell by 0.64 per cent.

The pound is currently worth €1.17, while it is holding steady against the dollar too at about $1.29 — the same price as yesterday.

0'>Bitcoin continued its slow downwards trajectory. After starting the day at $8,630.01 it had fallen to $8457.01 by late afternoon GMT.

FURTHER READING: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple all end the week with slight declines

FURTHER READING: Labour plans to nationalise parts of BT

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