Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Stocks mixed, bonds rise as investors weigh trade

Dec 14. 2019
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Luke Kawa, Vildana Hajric

A swirl of trade headlines and tweets whipsawed financial markets Friday as investors attempted to assess the contours of a partial deal reached between the U.S. and China.

Stocks swung between gains and losses, while Treasuries surged as neither side delivered enough details to calm investors who sent shares to records Thursday on reports fresh tariffs due Sunday have been averted.

President Donald Trump confirmed as much Friday, but it remained unclear whether China agreed to enough agricultural purchases or if the U.S. had planned to roll back some existing tariffs.

The S&P 500 was flat as of 3:15 p.m. even after Trump signaled he'd cut in half the tariffs that took hold in September. The U.S. will maintain levies that began in the spring. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.82%.

"Both sides now seem to be negotiating in public," Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co., said. "The uncertainty makes it impossible to make concrete investment decisions. These negotiations have turned into a circus."

The dollar was steady against major peers after U.S. retail sales data fell short of estimates. West Texas crude and gold advanced.

The fresh trade headlines overshadowed the U.K. election that puts the country on track to leave the European Union next month. The FTSE 100 index rose more than 1% and the pound surged.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

--The S&P 500 index was little changed at 3:15 p.m. New York time.

--The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.2%.

--The Stoxx Europe 600 index climbed 1.1%.

--The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index surged 1.1%.

--The MSCI Asia Pacific index gained 1.6%.

Currencies

--The Bloomberg Dollar Spot index was flat.

--The British pound increased 1.3% to $1.3338.

--The euro dropped 0.1% at $1.1114.

--The Japanese yen was steady at 109.31 per dollar.

Bonds

--The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell seven basis points to 1.82%.

--The two-year yield fell six basis points to 1.60%.

--Germany's 10-year yield lost one basis point to -0.279%.

--Britain's 10-year yield gained three basis points to 0.845%.

Commodities

--West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 1.3% to $59.97 a barrel.

--Gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,480.70 an ounce.

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