Global stocks mixed on US profit-taking, a European rally and China opening up

New York — Global stocks were mixed on Tuesday as Wall Street investors locked in recent gains while European shares approached four-month peaks as pressure eased on Italy’s debt markets and as China moved to further open up its economy.

Washington is close to an agreement to lift its ban on US firms supplying to Chinese telecoms gear maker ZTE, sources said, while Beijing said it would steeply cut import tariffs for automobiles and car parts.

This boosted automotive stocks, with Ford, General Motors (GM), and US-listed shares of Fiat up between 1% and 2.4%. Europe’s big car makers Volkswagen (VW), BMW and Daimler jumped 1 to 1.6%, too.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9.25 points, or 0.04%, to 25,004.04, the S&P 500 gained 6.02 points, or 0.22%, to 2,739.03 and the Nasdaq Composite added 13.49 points, or 0.18%, to 7,407.52.lost 0.18.

“The market is taking very well to what appears to be the fact that [US President Donald] Trump is able to manoeuvre the trade talks in our favour,” said Andre Bakhos, MD at New Jersey-based Janlyn Capital, of the mostly upbeat tone. “We’re seeing a continuation of that positive momentum.”

Early European trading saw Italian government bond yields come off 14-month highs, after six days of heavy selling on concerns about high-spending policies mooted by a potential new ruling coalition. The proposed tie-up of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League has pushed Rome’s 10-year yields up nearly 70 basis points since the start of the month.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.36%, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.46%.

Oil jumped to $80 a barrel, its highest since late 2014, on expectations that Venezuelan crude output and a possible reduction in Iranian exports could further curb global supply. US crude rose 0.64% to $72.70 a barrel and Brent was last at $80.25, up 1.3%.

After six days of gains, the dollar retreated as US treasury yields dipped and investors sought incentives to buy after a 7% rally since mid-February. The dollar index, tracking it against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.1% at 93.584. It was on track for its largest daily loss in two weeks.

Gold steadied as the dollar lost momentum, but risk appetite in the broader financial market cooled the metal’s gains.