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World stocks rally as trade war fears recede

29 March 2018

Stock markets were gripped by fears of a trade war on Friday, as China openly mulled slapping import tariffs on USA agricultural goods.

"A rebound in global equities overnight is offering the market some optimism of stabilization after last week's rout".

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 finished Monday's session up 2.7%, the Dow Jones gained 2.8%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended up 3.3%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 394.94 points, or 1.68 per cent, to 23,928.14.

All eleven major sectors of the S&P 500 were in positive territory, led by technology and finance indexes, up 3.2 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

But China's premier Li Keqiang said on Monday that China and the U.S. should maintain negotiations.

The United States asked China in a letter last week to slash tariffs on US autos, buy more USA -made semiconductors and give US firms greater access to the Chinese financial sector, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Technology shares were strong, with Apple advancing 4.8%, Intel 6.3%, Netflix and Adobe Systems both 6.5%.

Wall Street climbs as trade war fears cool

Facebook shares traded 2 percent weaker at US$156.19 as of 1.26pm in NY, down from a record high of US$193.09 last month.

US President Donald Trump announced the tariffs against Chinese goods on Thursday, saying they were a response to allegations of intellectual property theft by China.

Last week was the worst week for the major USA stock indexes since 2016. Shares in Dublin were also higher, with the ISEQ up 1%.

Just last week, trade relations between the countries were tense, but the proposal for some $60bn (£42.5bn) worth of tariffs would not hit the Chinese economy as hard as first anticipated.

South Korea's benchmark share index rose 0.8 per cent.

With nearly all FTSE 100 components higher, the principal drivers of today's outperformance (in terms of points contribution) are RDSB/BP (high oil price, weaker GBP), GSK (M&A), Miners (copper bounce, trade war relief), HSBC (trade war relief), AZN (GSK read-across, weaker GBP) and ULVR/BATS (weaker GBP), all adding at least 4pts a piece. Before last week's trade talk, both companies were waylaid by another proposal to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, two materials that both companies are heavily dependent on, and two commodities where the USA consumes far more than it produces.

"The. trade war story. should be taken into account when trying to quantify the potentially bullish effect of the geopolitical element in oil markets", said analysts at consultancy JBC Energy.

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World stocks rally as trade war fears recede