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 edged
Exports from China climbed by 0.5% last year, a sharp comedown
from 2018's expansion of nearly 10%, according to data released
Tuesday. Imports dropped 2.8% last year.
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 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 3.4% after the
airline said lower fuel prices and strong demand from holiday
makers had helped boost fourth-quarter profit, which exceeded
Shares in Wells Fargo dropped over 3% in premarket trading after
its profits sank due to legal costs incurred from problems in its
sales practices. Meanwhile, Boston Scientific fell nearly 6% after
the medical-devices maker warned that fourth-quarter sales would
fall shy of investors' expectations.
Write to Anna Isaac at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 14, 2020 08:59 ET (13:59 GMT)
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