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27-Mar2019

US markets end higher on Tuesday

The US markets ended higher with gains of over half a percent on Tuesday on the back of rebound by bond yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note initially moving higher after falling sharply over the past few sessions. A recent inversion of the yield curve, with the yield on the ten-year note falling below the yield on three-month bills, raised concerns about an impending recession. Meanwhile, US-China trade negotiations resumed, reigniting some optimism that the high-stakes dispute was coming to a close. Cabinet-level trade negotiations between Beijing and Washington were scheduled to kick off, with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin due in China later this week to help conclude long-running discussions between the world's two largest economies.

On the economic front, reflecting a deterioration in consumers' assessment of current conditions, the Conference Board released a report showing an unexpected decrease in US consumer confidence in the month of March. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index dropped to 124.1 in March after jumping to 131.4 in February. Street had expected the index to rise to 133.0. Meanwhile, new residential construction in the US pulled back sharply in February after jumping in the previous month, according to a report released by the Commerce Department. The report said housing starts plunged by 8.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.162 million in February after surging up by 11.7 percent to a revised rate of 1.273 million in January. Street had expected housing starts to dip to a rate of 1.213 million from the 1.230 million originally reported for the previous month. The Commerce Department said building permits also fell by 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.296 million in February after dipping by 0.7 percent to a revised rate of 1.1317 million in January.

Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 140.90 points or 0.55 percent to 25657.73, Nasdaq gained 53.98 points or 0.71 percent to 7691.52 and S&P 500 was up by 20.10 points or 0.72 percent to 2818.46.


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