Dollar strengthens despite falling construction spending
US stock market pulled back on Monday as optimism about possible US-China trade deal by the end of month receded. Washington delayed the raising of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods initially set to increase to $25% from 10% on the March 2 deadline with reports indicating US and China were close to a deal which would end most US tariffs on imports from China in exchange for the latter following up on its own promises to allow in more US exports. The S&P 500 lost 0.4% to 2792.62. Dow Jones industrial dropped 0.8% to 25819.65. The Nasdaq composite slid 0.2% to 7577.57. The dollar strengthening continued despite data showing above expected 0.6% drop in construction spending in December: the live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, rose 0.2% to 96.636 and is higher currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to lower openings today.
DAX 30 slips while other European indices rise
European stocks ended marginally higher on Monday. Both EUR/USD and GBP/USD continued falling with both pairs retreating currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.2%. The DAX 30 however slid 0.1% to 11592.66 after 0.8% gain Friday, the biggest advance among European indices. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4% and UK’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to 7134.39.
Shanghai Composite leads Asian indices
Asian stock indices are mixed today with traders impatient for more details on US-China trade talk progress amid reports a formal agreement could be reached at a summit between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping around March 27. Nikkei slid 0.4% to 21726.28 with yen resuming its slide against the dollar. Markets in China are higher as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced a growth target in a range of 6% to 6.5%, promising higher spending on technology development: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.1% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index fell 0.3% erasing most of previous session gain as the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its rate steady at 1.5%. The Australian dollar resumed sliding against the greenback.
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Brent futures prices are lower today while still supported by OPEC supply cuts. Prices inched higher yesterday: April Brent crude rose 0.9% to $65.67 a barrel on Monday.
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