European stocks climb, oil falls as trade tensions ease

10:57 | 01/08/2018
Stocks rose on Tuesday (Jul 31) as investors welcomed apparent moves by the United States and China to restart trade talks while oil prices slid following offer by US President Donald Trump to meet with his Iranian counterpart.
european stocks climb oil falls as trade tensions ease
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While technology stocks continued to suffer, overall Wall Street pushed higher following a Bloomberg News report that senior US and Chinese officials are seeking to restart negotiations to end an escalating trade war.

US tariffs on another US$16 billion (€13.7 billion) of Chinese imports are to take effect on Wednesday, following levies on US$34 billion that took effect earlier this month against which China responded with tit-for-tat charges on US agricultural goods.

"Equity markets are in positive territory as trade tensions between the US and China are improving," said analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK.

"Traders took this as a positive sign and were encouraged to snap up stocks on the back of it," he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 0.5 per cent in late morning trading, as were the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite.

In Europe, London stocks closed 0.6 per cent higher, boosted by strong second-quarter BP results. Paris added 0.4 per cent and Frankfurt edged 0.06 per cent higher.

A TRILLION-DOLLAR APPLE?

Meanwhile, oil prices dropped after Trump seemed to jettison bellicose threats against Iran on Monday, saying in a dramatic about-face that he was willing to meet the country's leaders without pre-conditions.

A volley of sabre-rattling tweets had raised tensions in oil markets, which are already concerned about supplies as US sanctions coming back into force in November aim to choke off Iranian oil exports.

Supply fears were also eased by an OPEC survey showing that output had increased.

"Recently, traders have been fearful about future supply given the impending sanctions on Iran, but they are happy to dump oil in light of the OPEC news," said Madden at CMC Markets UK.

The main international benchmark, Brent crude, fell 92 cents while the main US benchmark, WTI, dropped US$1.39.

Earlier, Asian equities traded mixed as the Bank of Japan tweaked its monetary policy in a bid to make its massive easing programme sustainable.

Tokyo's key Nikkei index closed marginally higher after the BoJ announced it had revised downward its inflation forecasts while making minor changes to its ultra-loose monetary policy for the first time in nearly two years.

Meanwhile, shares in Apple were 0.1 per cent higher in late morning trade as analysts wait for the tech giant to release its quarterly earnings figures after the market close.

While the iPhone manufacturer would make history if the share price rises sufficiently to push its market capitalisation over the trillion-dollar mark, the results are also important for the tech sector.

Shares in a number of leading US technology stocks have taken a beating in recent days as investors fear the greater data regulation and privacy concerns could crimp future earnings.

"How things progress from here will rest on Apple's results," said analysts at London Capital Group. "A miss in earnings from Apple will deepen the current tech sector selloff," they added.

Key figures at 1530 GMT:

New York - Dow Jones: UP 0.5 per cent to 25,419.59 points

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.6 per cent at 7,748.76 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.06 per cent at 12,805.50 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.4 per cent at 5,511.30 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 per cent at 3,168.94

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.5 per cent at 28,583.01 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.26 per cent at 2,876.40 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.04 per cent at 22,553.72 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at US$1.1703 from US$1.1706 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at US$1.3114 from US$1.3133

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.90 yen from 111.04 yen

Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 92 cents at US$74.63 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN US$1.39 at US$68.74 per barrel

AFP

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