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Global markets end week on a strong note

Jan 25 2019 20:12

World stocks rose on Friday, putting them on course to end a shaky week on a positive note as investors looked ahead to crucial trade talks between China and the United States at the end of the month and responded to solid corporate earnings reports.

Small signs of a break in the impasse on Capitol Hill also provided some hope, with Democrats and Republicans meeting to end the month-long government shutdown that is taking its toll on the economy and has left hundreds of thousands of workers unpaid.

European equities barrelled higher, shaking off Brexit worries, after a strong performance in Asian equity markets.

At the opening bell in New York, the DJIA index was 0.8% higher.

'Sea of green'

"Global equity markets were a sea of green on Friday as investors diverted their attention from geopolitical risks and global growth fears to focus on robust US corporate earnings," said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

But he also warned that "this market could be living on borrowed time" with trade tensions, Brexit-related uncertainty, a gloomy growth outlook from the IMF and the US shutdown "straining risk sentiment".

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam also warned of likely upcoming trials for equity investors.

"There's likely to be a lot more catalysts next week - Brexit, US government shutdown, trade talks, earnings - so confidence will be tested," he told AFP.

There are hopes that next week's meeting in Washington between top Chinese and US officials will see some progress, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross looked to temper expectations Thursday by saying the two sides are "miles and miles" from resolving their trade war.

However, he still offered some hope, saying: "I believe China would like to make a deal. I believe we would like to make a deal but it has to be a deal that works for both parties."

'We're talking, we're talking'

In Washington, two bills to end the shutdown were thrown out by the senate but the president signalled he could back a "reasonable" proposal that includes border security. However, Democrats reasserted they will not fund a Mexican border wall.

The Senate leaders of both parties met Thursday to discuss the issue, with Democrat Chuck Schumer later seen smiling and saying: "We're talking, we're talking".

Oil prices rose as instability in Venezuela fuelled concerns about supplies from the major producer, with Trump weighing sanctions on Nicolas Maduro's regime and backing opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.

equities  |  markets  |  global markets


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