Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Asian stocks rise on Fed restraint, U.S-China trade hopes

Pumpjacks are seen against the setting sun at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province China Pumpjacks are seen against the setting sun at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province China
Jean Garcia | 13 January, 2019, 21:12

China plans to set a lower economic growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019 compared with last year's target of "around" 6.5 percent, policy sources told Reuters, as Beijing gears up to cope with higher us tariffs and weakening domestic demand.

Vandana Hari of consultancy Vanda Insights in Singapore said oil prices dropped "as optimism fueled by the US-China trade talks earlier in the week appeared to have run its course". Wall Street was positioned for a flat opening.

"We're negotiating and having tremendous success with China", Trump told reporters as he left the White House on a trip to the USA border with Mexico on the 20th day of a partial shutdown of the USA government.

Earlier weakness in stocks and data showing a decline in USA consumer prices in December stoked investor appetite for Treasuries, pushing their yields lower. WTI surged 2.58 dollars to settle at 52.36 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude rose 2.72 dollars to close at 61.44 dollars a barrel. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.6 percent to 26,667.27.

After rising for several days, the S&P 500 has hit a level of technical resistance in not surpassing 2,600, said Scott.

A range of Federal Reserve policymakers said last month they could be patient about future interest rate increases and a few did not support the central bank's rate increase that month, minutes from their December 18-19 policy meeting showed. However, Brent remains on track for a second consecutive week of gains as it is up about 7 percent so far this week.

Fellow Dems Chastise Ocasio-Cortez: ‘She Doesn’t Understand How the Place Works’
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POWELL SPEECH: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that the USA central bank has the "ability to be patient" with its plans to gradually raise interest rates.

Markets are optimistic that the trade-war between Washington and Beijing will be averted. A 90-day financial truce reached by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 summit has put on hold the White House's threat to raise levies from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion of those goods. "The return of risk appetite, in turn, has pressured the US dollar lower", DBS Group Research strategists Philip Wee and Eugene Leow said in a commentary. This was the slowest pace of growth in six months.

At the start of trading on Wednesday, crude oil prices were up around 1 percent through OPEC curbing oil production and with the ongoing trade talks between the US and China generating investor optimism.

US crude, which has jumped 15 percent in 2019, dropped 63 cents to USD$51.72 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract has surged by 23.7 percent since December 24. It added another 23 cents to $52.59 per barrel on Thursday. It gained 24 cents to $61.68 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar eased to 108.38 yen from 108.43 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1527 from $1.1501.

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