Focus this week is on Washington, where China and the United States will finally put pen to paper on their much-vaunted 'phase one' trade deal
London (AFP) - World stock markets mostly rose on Monday as investor attention turned to the global economic outlook and this week’s planned signing of the China-US trade pact.
Heading towards midday, London won 0.5 percent on the back of the weaker pound, which boosts share prices of multinationals that earn in dollars.
Sterling sagged as Bank of England policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe hinted at a potential vote in favour of a January cut to the central bank’s main interest rate.
Stoking rate-cut speculation, official data showed the UK economy shrank 0.3 percent in November, as Brexit and political uncertainty contributed to slashing manufacturing output.
In the eurozone meanwhile, Paris stocks added 0.3 percent but Frankfurt flatlined.
“Equity market sentiment in Europe… is positive as traders are looking ahead to the signing of the first phase of the US-China trade deal on Wednesday,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
The picture was brighter in Asia with Hong Kong rallying more than one percent and Shanghai up 0.8 percent.
While the optimism that characterised the end of 2019 is returning to trading floors, dealers were left a little disappointed by a below-par jobs report out of Washington on Friday.
All three main indexes on Wall Street ended in negative territory following the reading, having hit new highs, with profit-taking also playing a role.
However, analysts pointed out that while the data missed expectations, it did suggest that the Federal Reserve will likely maintain interest rates at low levels for some time to come, with some tipping the next move could be another cut.
- Pen to paper -
Focus this week is on Washington, where China and the United States will finally put pen to paper on their much-vaunted “phase one” trade deal, which has lowered tensions between the economic superpowers and boosted hopes for the global economy.
While there are not expected to be any major announcements at the signing, investors will be looking for signs of progress on the next part of negotiations for a wider agreement.
“Provided the deal inks a commitment from China to increase agricultural products and outlines a dependable enforcement mechanism, the market will go merrily along the way,” said AxiTrader’s Stephen Innes.
“Traders are probably not too concerned about a currency pact as China should hold the line on any weakness in the yuan as we roll forward to negotiating phase two.”
- Key figures at 1145 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,622.62 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: FLAT at 13,485.86
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 6,052.83
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 3,791.77
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.1 percent at 28,954.94 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.8 percent at 3,115.57 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a public holiday
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.5 percent at 28,823.77 (close)
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2982 from $1.3064 at 2200 GMT Friday
Euro/pound: UP at 85.66 pence from 85.13 pence
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1115 from $1.1121
Dollar/yen: UP at 109.84 yen from 109.45 yen
Brent Crude: DOWN 0.1 percent at $64.91 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $59.05