Stocks recovered their poise Monday after a stormy week, as investors sensed that a trade war between the U.S. and China could be averted.
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KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.6 percent to 11,953 while Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.4 percent to 6,947. France's CAC-40 added 0.3 percent to 5,109. U.S. stocks were poised for solid gains at the bell, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 1.1 percent.
TARIFFS AND TRADE: Last week, global stock markets fell sharply amid fears of a trade war after President Donald Trump approved possible higher duties on $60 billion worth of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy. On Friday, Beijing released a $3 billion list of U.S. goods targeted for possible retaliation over an earlier U.S. tariff hike on steel and aluminum imports. That prompted fears the spat might depress trade worldwide and set back the global economic recovery.
POTENTIAL COMPROMISE: Signs of a compromise have emerged. China's government said it is open to negotiating with Washington following a news report American officials have submitted a list of market-opening requests. A foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, didn't confirm the report by The Wall Street Journal but said at a regular briefing, "Our door for dialogue and discussion is always open." The Journal said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and China's economic czar, Vice Premier Liu He, were leading negotiations. It said American market-opening requests as a possible condition of a settlement covered the auto, finance and semiconductor industries.
ANALYST TAKE: "The decision to exempt key U.S. allies from the tariffs is a sign that the White House is not as dogmatic as the rhetoric appears, and should give negotiators room for maneuver," said Chris Beauchamp, Chief Market Analyst at IG. "Still, given how badly equities reacted last week a failure of negotiations would likely prompt another ugly sell-off."
ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.6 percent to 3,133.72 while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent to 20,766.10. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.7 percent to 30,512.14 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 retreated 0.5 percent to 5,790.50. Seoul's Kospi added 0.8 percent to 2,437.08 and India's Sensex advanced 0.3 percent to 32,695.04.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 16 cents to $65.72 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 5 cents to $70.40 in London.
CURRENCY: The euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.2409 while the dollar was up 0.4 percent at 105.10 yen.