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Wall Street surges on the back of US-China trade deal, while the rest of the global markets remain flat

By Philip Smith

Pound rallies as pressure eases

US equity markets bucked the global trend as details of the US-China trade deal became clearer.

US traders were also buoyed by retail sales which, at 0.3 per cent, were in line with expectations and jobless claims looking more positive coming in slightly lower than expected. It all translated into gains on the US markets with the Dow up by 0.59 per cent at 29200 at 5pm GMT.

Maybe it was the time lag that saw the US market more optimistic than others, which remained generally flat – the Nikkei closed up 0.07 per cent and the DAX down 0.02 per cent, for example.

The pound, which had been falling sharply during the week after another Bank of England policymaker said he would vote for a rate cut unless economic data improved significantly, actually edged higher as traders paused a hectic period of betting that the bank will, in two weeks, cut rates from their current 0.75 per cent. It closed higher against the dollar at $1.307, up 0.27 per cent.

As is usually the case when the pound rallies, the FTSE falls. This time the main driver was a stable of poor results from the likes of Pearson, Whitbread and Hays. It closed down a modest 0.43 per cent at 7609.81.

On the commodities markets, at 5pm GMT, a barrel of Brent Crude was trading at 58.78, up 1.63 per cent. Gold was down slightly by 0.23 per cent at 1,550 dollars an ounce.

All the major cryptocurrencies saw a drop today, with Bitcoin cash the hardest hit, down 5.64 per cent against the dollar trading at $320.53. Bitcoin itself was down 1.97 per cent at $8,635. Ethereum and Litecoin were also down by 2.73 per cent and 3.03 per cent respectively.

FURTHER READING: Recruiter blames political uncertainty for share price drop

FURTHER READING: US-China phase one trade agreement signed in Washington

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