Monday June 24th


Stocks are set to add to big June gains as investors look ahead to US-China trade talks

U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday as investors looked ahead to a key meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at this week’s upcoming G-20 summit. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up by 55 points, indicating a gain of 21 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to slight gains. Trump and Xi are expected to discuss the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China at the summit, which is set to start Friday. Investors are hopeful the two leaders will get closer to a deal that will end the conflict. China and the U.S. have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods over the past year. Last month, the two countries hiked tariffs targeting some goods. “Financial markets welcomed the announcement that a full-blown standalone US-China ‘bilateral’ meeting would be held in the margins of the annual G20 Summit,” said Christopher Granville, managing director of global political research at TS Lombard, in a note. “That was an understandable relief reaction.” “Judging by the more conciliatory tone from both Washington and Beijing last week, the likely optics of the Trump-Xi talks will resemble the previous G20 meeting in Buenos Aires last December,” he said. “Back then, the leaders’ friendly rapport supplied the impetus to launch a new series of negotiations, with an agreement to refrain from further tariff hikes or other punitive action for the following three months while the talks proceeded. ” Trade optimism, coupled with the increasing likelihood of easier monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, sparked a massive rally this month. The major indexes came into Monday’s session up more than 7% each in June. Those gains erased a massive sell-off in May, which was fueled by China and the U.S. hiking tariffs on each other’s products. In corporate news, Caesars Entertainment shares surged 14% after the casino operator agreed to be bought out by Eldorado Resorts for more than $17 billion, including debt. Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Monday, while oil prices continued to rise as tensions between the U.S. and Iran lingered after the latter shot down an American surveillance drone. Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed on the day, with the Shanghai compositeup 0.21% to 3,008.15, while the Shenzhen component was largely flat at 9,212.12 and the Shenzhen composite fractionally lower at 1,576.09. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was about 0.1% higher, as of its final hour of trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished its trading day 0.13% higher at 21,285.99, while the Topix index gained 0.12% to close at 1,547.74. In South Korea, the Kospi closed largely unchanged at 2,126.33. Oil prices rose on Monday, extending large gains last week that were prompted by tensions between Iran and the United States, as Washington was set to announce new sanctions on Tehran. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 50 cents, or 0.87%, at $57.93 a barrel. Brent futures were up 9 cents, or 0.14%, at $65.29 a barrel by 1040 GMT. Gold rose above $1,400 on Monday, hovering near a six-year high touched in the previous session, driven by dovish signals from global central banks and increased tensions between the United States and Iran. Spot gold was up 0.6% at $1,406.83 per ounce, heading for a fifth straight session of gains. Gold prices hit $1,410.78 on Friday, their highest since Sept. 4, 2013. U.S. gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,410.20 an ounce.