Hopes for improvement in US/China trade relations lifts sentiment

Sentiment on world stock markets recovered, with European bourses fighting back from the preceding session’s substantial losses, but investors remained confronted with an interminable list of political risk elements which added to apprehension about slowing global growth.

Nonetheless, returning hopes for an improvement in trade relations between Washington and Beijing – with rumour that China was planning to cut tariffs on US cars – supported European stocks and US futures gain momentum as the session progressed.

That took place after a clear finish for indices in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Wall Street’s S&P 500 was forecast to rise by 0.9 percent.

The Stoxx index tracking European carmakers rose almost 3 percent. But an 18-month closing low for Tokyo’s Topix came as an indication of the wider unease. Expectations for further turbulence continued, not least in the potential context of a disruption of a disorderly Brexit, and unease at Italy’s budget standoff with the EU and strife in France.

The dollar drifted off its highs, with the index tracking it down 0.3 percent and just under 97 points, leaving its year-to-date advance at 5.2 percent. The pound found support — ticking up 0.4 percent to $1.2613 — having fallen to its lowest level since April 2017 on Monday, when parliament’s vote on the government’s deal on the Brexit terms was postponed.