NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell and global equity markets slid on Friday, halting a week-long rally on hopes an end to the U.S.-China trade war was near, as investors parsed statements from Beijing and Washington on where they stand on rolling back tariffs.
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Doubts arose about when a deal would be signed as fierce opposition to rolling back existing tariffs surfaced from the White House on Thursday, a position U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed when talking to reporters on Friday.
Trump said he has not agreed to roll back tariffs on China but that Beijing would like him to do so.
The dollar rose to a three-week high, lifted by safe-haven bids, as risk appetite for higher-yielding currencies took a step back amid uncertainty about the tariff rollback, a major component of a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal.
Skepticism abounds about the strength of the economy and corporate results, which is driving fear of more weakness ahead, said Christopher Smart, chief global strategist at Barings.
“I’m less convinced that we’re headed for a durable trade peace with China,” he said.
“It’s very difficult of course to forecast what this administration will or will not agree to, but it’s going to be hard to keep the peace going into an election year,” Smart said.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.19% and the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.27%.
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed as doubts about a trade deal capped a record run for U.S. equities. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at all-time highs on Thursday, while the Nasdaq just missed topping a record close set earlier in the week.
The Dow fell 50.56 points, or 0.18%, to 27,624.24 and the S&P 500 lost 1.87 points, or 0.06%, to 3,083.31. But the Nasdaq Composite added 11.19 points, or 0.13%, to 8,445.71.
Earlier in Asia, shares retreated from six-month highs.
Investor sentiment is likely to remain supportive for risk assets as efforts are made to reach a trade deal, said Brian Daingerfield, head of G10 FX strategy at Natwest Markets in Stamford, Connecticut.
“The fact that there is some discussion of moving existing tariffs leans more positive,” Daingerfield said.
The dollar index rose 0.19%, with the euro down 0.26% to $1.102. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.13% versus the greenback at 109.15 per dollar.
U.S. Treasury yields held just below three-month highs and Germany’s 10-year bond yield edged down from five-month highs.
The yield on benchmark 10-year German bunds was one basis point lower at -0.26%.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose 5/32 in price to push their yield down to 1.9069%.
Oil prices fell more than 1%.
Benchmark Brent crude fell 80 cents to $61.49 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 58 cents to $56.57 a barrel.
Gold prices fell and were on track for their biggest weekly decline in almost three years.
Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Dan Grebler