World shares mixed after Trump calls halt to stimulus talks

The future contract for the S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent while the future for the Dow industrials picked up 0.6 per cent.

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Funds have pulled back from one of the biggest short positions in U.S. tech stocks in over a decade, in a near-record buying spree of Nasdaq futures.

World shares were mixed on Wednesday after President Donald Trump ordered a stop to talks on another round of aid for the economy. Markets rose in Paris and Hong Kong but fell in London and Tokyo.

Hours after his tweets about ending the stimulus talks, Trump appeared to edge back a bit, calling on Congress to send him a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks (USD 1,200) Trump’s announcement via Twitter that he was suspending the talks until after the election came after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell urged Congress to come through with more aid, saying that too little support  would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship.

Some analysts characterized Trump’s move as likely a negotiating ploy. I do not believe hopes of a stimulus deal are now gone forever,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. One of Mr. Trump’s favorite negotiating tactics, judging by past actions, is to walk away from the negotiating table abruptly. The intention being to frighten the other side into concessions.” Britain’s FTSE slipped 0.2 per cent to 5,940.69.

In Germany, the DAX edged 0.1 per cent lower to 12,848.61. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.1 per cent to 4,848.72.
The future contract for the S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent while the future for the Dow industrials picked up 0.6 per cent.

With Chinese markets closed for a weeklong holiday, trading in Asia has been subdued. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.1 per cent to 24,242.86 and the Kospi in South Korea surged 0.9 per cent to 2,386.94. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1 per cent to 23,422.82.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.3 per cent to 6,036.40, as investors were cheered by the government’s proposed budget plan, which included tax cuts, subsidies and other stimulus to counter the impact of the pandemic.
India’s Sensex gained 0.7 per cent to 39,846.18.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 index slid 1.4 per cent after gaining 0.7 per cent before the president’s announcement, which he made on Twitter about an hour before the close of trading.

In a series of tweets, Trump said: I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major stimulus bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and small business. He also accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of not negotiating in good faith. Optimism that Democrats and Republicans would reach a deal on more stimulus ahead of the Nov. 3 elections had helped lift the stock market recently.

Powell, the Fed chair, has repeatedly urged Congress to provide additional aid, saying the Fed can’t prop up the economy by itself, even with interest rates at record lows.

The expansion is still far from complete, Powell said in a speech to the National Association for Business Economics, group of corporate and academic economists. Trump’s mention of USD 1,200 stimulus checks is a reference to a batch of direct payments to most Americans that has been a central piece of negotiations between Pelosi and the White House. Pelosi has generally rejected taking a piecemeal approach to COVID relief.

Without more stimulus, analysts say growth likely will slow significantly in the final three months of the year.
The stimulus cutoff coincides with a slowdown in hiring, as employers added 661,000 jobs in September, the government said Friday. That was down from 1.5 million in August and 1.8 million in July.

Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and growing outbreaks at the White House and Pentagon have highlighted the risks of further shocks to the economy if escalating caseloads lead governments to bring back restrictions they put on businesses early this year seeking to contain the pandemic.

The upcoming election adds to uncertainty about tax rates and regulations on businesses, while tensions between the United States and China continue to simmer. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 0.76 per cent. That is still very low, but the yield generally has been climbing since dropping close to 0.50 per cent in early August.
In other trading, US benchmark crude oil shed 72 cents to USD 39.95 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It jumped USD 1.45 to USD 40.67 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 52 cents to USD 42.03 per barrel. The US dollar bought 105.96 Japanese yen, up from 105.62 late Tuesday. The euro strengthened to USD 1.1764 from USD 1.1734.

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First published on: 07-10-2020 at 16:02 IST