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World stocks mixed ahead of further China-US trade talks

/ 06:59 PM February 18, 2019

A currency trader works at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Asian markets were broadly higher on Monday as traders looked forward to the continuation of trade talks between Chinese and American officials in Washington this week. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SINGAPORE  — World stocks were mixed on Monday ahead of more trade talks between Chinese and American officials in Washington this week.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent to 5,150.17 while the DAX in Germany eased 0.2 percent to 11,274.70. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.3 percent to 7,214.16.

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Wall Street was due to remain closed for President’s Day, but the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.1 percent lower to 25,861.00 while that for the S&P 500 also lost 0.1 percent, to 2,774.20. Shares in Asia were mostly higher.

On Friday, China and the U.S. announced plans to resume trade negotiations in Washington, fueling hopes that both countries were edging toward a deal.

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“We feel we have made headway on very, very important and difficult issues,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi expressed hope for “a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement,” according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Negotiators had just wrapped up two days of talks in Beijing. A tariffs truce expires March 2 and will leave the U.S. free to more than double import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

President Donald Trump has said he may hold off on these if the country was close to a deal with China. Traders are waiting to see if enough progress was made on thorny issues like Washington’s unhappiness over Chinese technology and trade policies.

“Achieving a deal is important to avert an escalation in the tariff war between the world’s two largest economies,” DBS Group Research strategists Philip Wee and Eugene Leow said in a commentary.

“It, however, does not imply that the U.S .would lower tariffs. China will still be looking at fiscal stimulus and monetary easing measures to cushion growth,” they added.

THE DAY IN ASIA: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 advanced 1.8 percent to 21,281.85 and South Korea’s Kospi jumped 0.7 percent to 2,210.89. The Shanghai Composite index rose 2.7 percent to 2,754.36. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 1.6 percent higher at 28,347.01. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.4 percent to 6,089.80. Shares rose in Taiwan and throughout Southeast Asia.

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ENERGY: U.S. crude added 38 cents to $55.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added $1.18 to settle at $55.59 per barrel in New York on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 10 cents at $66.35 per barrel. It picked up $1.68 to $66.25 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 110.55 yen from 110.48 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.1313 from $1.1293. /gsg

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