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04-Dec2018

US markets end higher on trade-war truce

The US markets ended higher with gains of over one percent on Monday after the US and China over the weekend called a temporary truce to their trade war, triggering relief buying of perceived riskier assets such as equities. The two sides agreed to launch negotiations to reduce trade tensions and discuss forced technology transfer, intellectual-property protection, non-tariff barriers, and cyber and agriculture issues, among other concerns. Trump and Xi agreed to a 90-day truce in the escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies as they work to reach a long-term trade deal. Trump also agreed not to raise the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10% on January 01 as planned. However, if the two countries are not able to reach an agreement by the end of the time period, the 10% tariffs on Chinese goods will be raised to 25%.

On the economic front, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), manufacturing activity in the US unexpectedly grew at a faster rate in the month of November. The ISM said its purchasing managers index climbed to 59.3 in November after falling to 57.7 in October, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in manufacturing activity. Street had expected the index to edge down to 57.5. The unexpected rebound by the headline index was partly due to strong demand, as the new orders index jumped to 62.1 in November from 57.4 in October. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a report showing an unexpected dip in US construction spending in the month of October. The Department said construction spending edged down by 0.1% to an annual rate of $1.309 trillion in October after slipping by 0.1% to a downwardly revised rate of $1.311 trillion in September.

Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 287.97 points or 1.13 percent to 25826.43, S&P 500 surged 30.20 points or 1.09 percent to 2790.37and Nasdaq was up by 110.98 points or 1.51 percent to 7441.51.


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