Global stocks set for fourth week of gains as trade angst eases

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LONDON (Reuters) – Shares rose worldwide on Friday as strong company earnings reports and as transatlantic trade tensions eased after an agreement between the United States and Europe this week.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Spanish NH Hoteles chain is seen on the roof of one of its hotel in central Madrid October 28, 2009. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

The MSCI All-Country World Index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was up 0.1 percent in London and was set for a sixth straight session of gains, a run not seen since February, and its fourth straight weekly gain.

European shares rose, with consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser, construction groups Saint Gobain and Vinci and bank BBVA gaining after results, lifting the STOXX 600 0.4 percent. [.EU]

European auto stocks extended to Thursday’s gains.

Futures indicated a positive open on Wall Street.

Trade tensions had not disappeared altogether from investors’ radars however. Chinese shares lagged an uptick in Asian shares, with the main Shanghai index down 0.4 percent on the day. Traders attributed this to a still-unresolved standoff between the U.S. and China on trade.

“To see the way markets reacted early yesterday…it was almost as if the EU and the U.S. were best buddies again,” CMC Markets chief markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, and while the prospect of tariffs on European cars has diminished, it hasn’t gone away completely, which means inevitably the market shifts its attention elsewhere. That elsewhere concerns what could happen next with respect to China, and the prospect of an escalation there,” he said.

So far this month, MSCI China A shares have fallen 2.6 percent, taking the biggest hit from U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats on tariffs among other issues in major markets, compared with 3.3-percent gains in the MSCI ACWI.

The Chinese yuan eased, on course to mark its seventh week of losses, although those losses were cushioned by Chinese state banks’ swapping of dollars for yuan in the forward market. Traders said they may also have been selling spot dollars.

Borrowing costs in the euro zone’s biggest economy, Germany, held below six-week highs, a day after the European Central Bank’s president backed market expectations for a rise in interest rates late next year. [GVD/EUR]

Most 10-year bond yields in the bloc were steady ahead of second quarter U.S. economic growth data due out at 1230 GMT that many economists expect to show a strong reading.

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield edged up to 2.9880 percent, its highest level in 1-1/2 months, on receding worries about trade tensions.

“In fixed income markets, the main question today is whether the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield…will break the 3 percent mark in the wake of the U.S. GDP release,” a UniCredit note said.

Japan’s 10-year government bond yield slipped off a one-year high after the BOJ conducted special, unlimited buying for the second time this week.

Most market players expect central bankers meeting on Monday to stop short of making immediate policy changes and to say instead that they will study ways to reduce the side-effects of the prolonged easing, such as hits to banks’ profits.

In currencies, the dollar slipped 0.1 percent to 111.17 yen as the yen got a lift from a rise in Japanese bond yields.

Against a basket of currencies, the greenback was up 0.1 percent at 94.863, hitting a five-day high. [FRX/]

The euro traded down 0.1 percent at $1.1630, having fallen 0.73 percent on Thursday after the ECB signaled no change in its timetable to move away from ultra low rates or end its bond purchase program.

In commodities, oil prices edged lower in quiet trading after three days of gains, but took support from Saudi Arabia halting crude transport through a major shipping lane, and falling U.S. inventories. [O/R]

Brent crude futures traded down 0.1 percent at $74.49 per barrel, but were set for their first weekly increase in four.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,219.03 an ounce. [GOL/]

Copper edged up, again boosted by receding trade tensions. It is on course to gain 2.4 percent on the London Metal Exchange and 3.7 percent on the Shanghai Futures Exchange this week, which would mark its first weekly rise in seven on both bourses after fears of a global trade war dragged prices down. [MET/L]

Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Additional reporting by Asia markets team; Editing by Louise Ireland

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