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Improving US-China trade talk prospects support markets

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Positive corporate earnings updates and reports Washington and Beijing are considering measures including easing tariffs and increasing imports respectively to facilitate US-China talks scheduled for January 30-31, supported global markets last week. The S&P 500 rose 2.9% while the ICE US dollar index rebounded 0.7%.

All five major stock indexes extended gains. US blue chip stocks led the gains: Dow rallied 3.0%. All major currency pairs except the British Pound reversed previous week’s dynamics against the US dollar while the range of fluctuations narrowed. The Swiss franc was the leader in terms of percentage change: it gained 1.2% against the US dollar.

As US companies continue reporting fourth earning season’s corporate results this week, the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank will meet on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. And while no changes in policies are expected, the focus will be on any signals reflecting policy makers response to widespread concerns about slowing global growth.

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