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US stocks climb after Trump’s comments on China trade deal

Bloomberg New York | Updated on November 23, 2019

US equities edged higher after President Donald Trump said he was “very close” to a trade pact with China even as he warned that Beijing wanted a deal more than he did.

Automakers, an industry particularly sensitive to trade, led advances after Trump’s comments in an interview on Fox News. Bitcoin tumbled to a six-month low and the dollar gained. Oil fell and Treasury yields held steady. The S&P 500 Index posted a small weekly loss, its first since early October.

It has been a mixed picture on the trade front this week, suppressing volatility and keeping stocks in a tight range within 1% of a record high. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He has invited Robert Lighthizer to Beijing for further talks later this month, according to people familiar with the matter, and Washington will likely postpone new tariffs scheduled for December even if there’s no deal by then, the South China Morning Post reported. However, Trump may soon sign a bill supporting Hong Kong’s protesters, a move likely to anger China. He declined to reveal plans when asked Friday.

“Stocks’ short-term direction is still all about trade,” said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell. “Given precious little substance of late on that front, it’s no surprise stocks are stuck in a tight trading range with volatility at multi month lows.”

Elsewhere, European stocks advanced. The pound fell -- boosting UK equities -- following a gloomy reading of company sentiment. Government bonds in Europe rose as a measure of services in the euro area disappointed.

Japanese shares steadied after three days of declines, while stocks climbed in Australia and Hong Kong, and slipped in China.

Published on November 23, 2019

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