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Saturday, May 15, 2021
Stocks & Shares

Global markets higher on US-Mexico trade deal optimism

Global stock markets were mostly higher with investors optimistic about a U.S.-Mexico trade deal

Global markets were mostly higher on Friday with investors optimistic about a U.S.-Mexico trade deal and what economists expect to be solid U.S. jobs numbers.

France’s CAC 40 climbed 1.5% to 5,358. Germany’s DAX picked up 0.8% to 12,049, while Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.9% to 7,325.

Wall Street was also poised to open higher with Dow futures gaining more than 0.3% at 25,834. S&P 500 futures also rose more than 0.3% to 2,855. After three straight days of gains, U.S. markets are on track to finish the first week of June in positive territory after a dismal stretch in which the Dow fell below 25,000.

U.S. and Mexican officials claim to be making progress as they laboured for a second day to avert import tariffs. President Donald Trump continues to threaten Mexico with an escalating regime of tariffs, saying Mexico must do more to stop Central American migrants from reaching the United States’ southern border.

A modest Wall Street rally Thursday gained strength in the final hour of trading reports that the U.S. might postpone a 5% tariff on Mexican goods set to go into effect Monday.

While, Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. was encouraged by Mexico’s latest proposals, the tariffs are still looming.

Trump said he’ll make a decision about ramping up tariffs on China after he speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping this month during the G-20 meeting in Japan, which brings together leaders of developed and developing countries.

The trade disputes with Mexico and China threaten to stifle economic growth in the U.S. and globally. Uncertainty surrounding the trade negotiations has sent many traders fleeing to safer investments, like bonds and gold.

Investors will also be watching the U.S. jobs data due later in the day for signs of where the economy is going.

Economists have forecast that the government will report that employers added 185,000 jobs, a solid figure consistent with this year’s average monthly gain. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at a nearly 50-year low of 3.6%, according to data provider FactSet.

Asia followed U.S. markets with modest gains Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to finish at 20,884.71, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose nearly 1.0% to 6,443.90. South Korea’s Kospi inched up less than 0.1% to 2,072.33. Chinese markets were closed for a holiday.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 80 cents to $53.39 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose $1.03 to $62.70 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 108.50 Japanese yen from 108.22 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1268 from $1.1231.

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