Global Stocks Muted as China's Export Growth Stalls
By Anna Isaac
Global stocks were muted Tuesday as China's exports grew at the
slowest pace in three years, adding to concerns about a wider
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average wavered between
gains and losses. The Shanghai Composite Index closed for the day
down 0.3%, while the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index was
Exports from China climbed by 0.5% last year, a contrast with
2018's expansion of nearly 10%, according to data released Tuesday.
Imports dropped 2.8% last year, after surging 16% in 2018.
While the slowdown comes amid a two-year trade war between the
world's largest economies, China's foreign trade revived in
December as tensions ebbed following signals that the Washington
was nearing a trade deal with Beijing. Investors in recent days
have been cautiously optimistic about that accord as they await
more information on the specific terms of the agreement.
China has committed to buying almost $80 billion of additional
manufactured goods from the U.S. over the next two years, Reuters
reported on Tuesday. The Asian giant would also purchase more than
$50 billion more in energy supplies, and boost spending on U.S.
services by roughly $35 billion, the news agency said, citing a
person with knowledge of the matter.
"The overall mood music is positive, but the key thing is what
the actual wording of the agreement is," said Edward Park, deputy
chief investment officer in London for Brooks Macdonald Asset
Management. "Investors need to see real progress on
Separately, China's currency strengthened to its strongest level
since July in offshore trading after the U.S. on Monday dropped it
from a list of currency manipulators, days before the likely
signing of a phase-one trade deal. The yuan pared back its gains
later in the day.
Ahead of the New York open, Delta Air Lines rose 3.1% after the
airline said lower fuel prices and strong demand from holiday
makers had helped boost fourth-quarter profit.
Shares in JPMorgan Chase rose almost 2% in premarket trading
after the U.S. bank reported better-than-expected earnings. It
joins a host of major financial companies and banks reporting this
week, with Wells Fargo and Citigroup also scheduled to report. The
banks are closely watched by investors as their results offer a
barometer of the health of the U.S. economy.
Shares in Boston Scientific fell nearly 6% in premarket trading
after the medical-devices maker warned that fourth-quarter sales
would fall shy of investors' expectations.
Later in the day, the U.S. Labor Department is also poised to
release December's consumer-price growth data. Economists expect
the consumer-price index to have climbed 0.3%.
Write to Anna Isaac at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 14, 2020 07:30 ET (12:30 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.