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After Royal Welcome, Trump and May to Turn Toward Thorny Trade Issues
Topic of the day
After a day of royal pageantry, the U.S. and Britain's special relationship could become more awkward as President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May hold talks that could broach a number of delicate topics, ranging from trade to Brexit to the security ties between the longstanding allies. After the gilded pomp of Mr. Trump's visit to Buckingham Palace, Mr. Trump and Mrs. May got down to business Tuesday, hosting a roundtable of corporate and banking leaders and conducting talks on U.S.-U.K. relations. Those talks will take place against mass protests in central London. The pair will also hold an afternoon press conference where they are likely to face questions on tensions between the allies over Chinese telecoms maker Huawei Technologies Co. and whether the U.K. and the U.S. will strike a trade deal after the U.K. leaves the European Union. The press conference will also be one of the final acts of Mrs. May, who will step down as party leader this week, opening a leadership contest that will deliver a new British prime minister. The first day of the president's state visit was mostly centered on ceremony, with Queen Elizabeth II welcoming the Trump family. Mr. Trump avoided any early morning controversy on his Twitter feed, posting only a brief video of highlights from events he attended in London on Monday. Britain is hoping to use Mr. Trump's state visit to lay the groundwork for a trade deal with the U.S., an agreement that could still take years to materialize and faces many hurdles.
The SMI diverged from other European markets Tuesday and slipped 0.1 percent to 9,598 points, pulled down by index heavyweights Nestle, Roche and Novartis, which fell by between 0.5 percent and 2.1 percent. These declines likely stemmed from profit-taking after the stocks had risen strongly Monday. Speculation about interest-rate cuts buoyed markets, as the ongoing trade disputes have already depressed global growth, with traders expecting the first US leading interest-rate cut as early as July. This buoyed bank stocks, hard pressed on Monday because of falling yields, with UBS up 2.2 percent and Credit Suisse rising 2.7 percent. Outside the SMI, Julius Baer surged 3.3 percent on news that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC had acquired a 3.04 percent stake in the bank. Bakery goods maker Aryzta slumped 13 percent on third-quarter figures, with above average business growth in Europe, but weaker growth in North America, a trend analysts see as likely to continue for a few quarters.
Europe closed higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.6%, or 2.18 points, to 372.67. With the gain, the index posted its largest one-day point-and-percentage gain since May 16. The U.K. FTSE 100 finished the day higher for the second day in a row, closing up 0.4%, following a positive trend in Germany and France. Stocks worldwide were helped by indications that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates if the economy slows due to trade tensions and economic uncertainty. The French CAC-40 index was up 26.80 points, or 0.51%, 5268.26 -- up for two consecutive trading days. And the German DAX was up 178.36 points, or 1.51%, to 11971.17. The board of Renault said it needs more time to weigh a merger proposal from Fiat Chrysler that would create the world's third-largest auto maker by production, with a market value of about $40 billion.
U.S. stocks surged intraday, rebounding sharply from recent declines after Federal Reserve officials hinted the central bank could lower interest rates if the economy slows in response to escalating tariffs and economic uncertainty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 431 points, or 1.7%, to 25250. The S&P 500 climbed 1.7%. The broad equity gauge has been sliding recently and ended Monday at its lowest level since March 8, 6.8% below its April 30 record. It was on track for its largest one-day advance since January. Shares of technology companies also rose, a day after fears about heightened regulation pushed the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite into correction territory, down more than 10% from last month's all-time high. The Nasdaq was up 2.1%.
Asian markets tracked the U.S. rally, with stocks in Japan leading Wednesday's advance. Combined with measures by the Chinese government to stimulate activity in the world's second-largest economy, the possibility of lower U.S. interest rates has lifted confidence in global growth even as trade tensions simmer, investors said.
U.S. government bond prices fell, as investors reassessed the balance of risks to the economy after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said policy makers "will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion." The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose, snapping a five-session streak of lower yields, settling at 2.119% from 2.085% Monday.
UBS rises the Novartis target to 85 (83) CHF – Neutral
IR lowers the Infineon target to 20 (24) EUR – Buy
CS rises the Airbus target to 130 (124) EUR – Outperform
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