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China bucks the upward trend as slump in factory profits hits Shanghai shares

By Hugh Wilson

Global indices cautiously optimistic after better-than-expected US GDP figures

Global indices were buoyed up on Wednesday by what seems (for now) to be the growing prospect of a US-China trade deal and better-than-expected US economic data. China itself was the exception to the rule, with shares grounded by figures showing a slump in factory profits.

Shanghai’s SSEC finished on 2,903.19, down 0.13 per cent on the day. The disappointing factory figures revealed a near 10 per cent drop in profits, and analysts talked down the prospect of any imminent industrial revival in the world’s second-largest economy.

That discouragement wasn’t enough to counter a cautiously optimistic mood elsewhere, however. Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng posted modest gains of 0.28 and 0.15 per cent respectively. London’s performed strongly, ending the day 26.64 points up on 7,429.78. The German was up 0.38 per cent at closing time.

US markets opened on record highs thanks to trade talk positivity and some upbeat data on the American economy. Revised US third-quarter figures showed GDP growth hitting 2.1 per cent against earlier estimates of a 1.9 per cent rise. The gained nearly 35 points in morning trading and the dollar reacted accordingly, edging higher against the euro.

softened as traders abandoned the safe haven commodity, dipping 0.5 per cent in afternoon trading. fared worse, tumbling by 0.91 per cent.

Trade talk optimism breathed a little life into oil, with marginally up at $64.33 before sliding back. was up against the dollar, registering a near 0.8 per cent gain in afternoon trading.

The MRP poll for the UK, produced by YouGov and set to be published at 10PM tonight, could have an impact on the value of sterling and FX markets worldwide. In 2017 their model accurately predicted a hung parliament in the general election when it seemed an unlikely scenario.

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