Stocks waver as positive U.S.-Sino call offset by data, euro gains

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar fell and a gauge of global equity markets wavered on Tuesday after investor optimism fueled by a phone call between U.S. and Chinese trade officials was offset by a slide in Apple shares and a poor reading of U.S. consumer confidence.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks a dog in the shade away from the midday sun past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building in Manhattan, during hot weather in New York City, New York, U.S., August 11, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

The euro rose on better-than-expected German economic data and gold prices fell as positive signals on the U.S.-China trade front bolstered risk sentiment and offset support for the metal from a weaker dollar.

Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials reaffirmed their commitment to a trade deal that had appeared on shaky ground because of worsening bilateral ties.

A 1.7% slide in Apple Inc., whose market capitalization of $2.15 trillion is greater than all the components in the benchmark FTSE 100 index in London, helped snap a three-day rally on Wall Street.

A survey from the Conference Board showed U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly fell in August to hit a six-year low.

Stocks in Europe retreated to trade little changed, the same as stocks on Wall Street after the S&P 500 set a new intra-day high before turning south.

Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index dropped 0.32% to 1,434.94, while MSCI’s benchmark for global equity markets rose 0.02% to 577.34.

Wall Street was mixed, as the Nasdaq edged slightly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.62%, the S&P 500 lost 0.07% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.13%.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq logged new closing highs on Monday, boosted by signs of progress in developing treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

German business morale improved more than expected in August as both manufacturing and services picked up steam, a survey by the Ifo institute showed. The survey raised hopes for a strong recovering from the coronavirus in Europe’s largest economy.

The dollar index fell 0.128%, with the euro up 0.2% to $1.1811.

Investors are waiting to hear Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on Thursday about the U.S. central bank’s policy framework review during the Jackson Hole symposium.

A major focus for investors will be whether Powell signals that the Fed will shift its inflation target to an average. This would allow inflation to rise more quickly than in the past.

Longer-term U.S. Treasury yields rose as traders moved into riskier asset classes on reassurance that a U.S.-China trade deal would continue. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 6.4 basis points to 0.7096%.

Euro zone government bond yields rose on the Ifo survey. Germany’s 10-year bond yields, a benchmark forthe region, rose 5 basis points to a one-week high of -0.445%.

Crude oil prices rose, supported by production cuts in the U.S. Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Laura was forecast to become a major hurricane, while rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe capped gains.

Brent crude futures rose $0.83, to $45.96 a barrel. U.S. crude futures gained $0.66, to $43.28 a barrel.

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Spot gold prices fell -0.74% to $1,918.10 an ounce.

Graphic: Asset performance in dollar terms here

Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Giles Elgood, Larry King and Dan Grebler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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