Nation & World

Stocks shrug off trade rancor

A busy week has begun

Reuters

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un visits the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore on Monday, ahead of his meeting with President Donald Trump.
Reuters North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un visits the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore on Monday, ahead of his meeting with President Donald Trump.

U.S. equities shrugged off the weekend’s trade drama as investors started a hectic week during which three major central banks set interest rates, President Donald Trump meets North Korea’s leader and Brexit returns to the fore.

The S&P 500 Index rose Monday for the second straight session, but not without giving up some gains just before the close. The dollar climbed with Treasury yields, and Texas crude and gold both advanced.

Investors are steeling themselves for geopolitical noise as the week picks up, with Trump saying that he felt “very good” about the summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

After that, traders will switch their focus to the views of the world’s biggest central banks. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates, while European Central Bank officials are poised to hold formal talks on ending its bond-buying program.

The Bank of Japan will meet Friday, with no change to policy expected.

“Much more likely to be market-moving are the Fed meeting this Wednesday and the ECB meeting the following day,” Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of Independent Advisor Alliance, said in an email. “The ECB meeting on Thursday is important because if they elect to begin tapering (e.g. like the Fed has) then the implications for the euro could be important.”

Earlier, shares in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea showed modest advances while Chinese stocks underperformed. Australian markets were shut for a holiday.

Meanwhile, Canada’s dollar fell in the wake of the G-7 meeting, which ended with deepening tensions over U.S. tariffs and a dispute between Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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In Europe, the mood was cautiously risk-on, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rising the most in more than a week and core European bonds slipping. The euro strengthened and Italian bonds and stocks jumped after the country’s new finance minister confirmed his commitment to the common currency.

The pound fell in what could be a key week for Theresa May’s Brexit strategy, and as data showed a slump in U.K. manufacturing.

Oil pared losses as cracks in a pipeline threatened Nigerian exports and a schism deepened within OPEC over whether to allow more crude to flow onto global markets.

Bitcoin traded near a two-month low following a hacking incident at South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail.

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