Wall Street continued its record run higher on Tuesday as investors tracked developments in the China-US trade talks, while Chinese online retail titan Alibaba surged almost eight percent on its Hong Kong debut.
After closing Monday at record highs, Wall Street’s main indices inched higher Tuesday to another round of records as Chinese and US officials continued to feed markets information about talks to resolve their trade war.
On Tuesday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by phone to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, state media said.
The two sides “discussed solving issues regarding each other’s core concerns, reached consensus on properly resolving related issues, and agreed to maintain communication on remaining issues in consultations on the ‘phase one’ deal”, China’s official Xinhua news agency said, without providing more details.
US President Donald Trump also suggested there was progress, saying “we’re in the final throes of a very important deal.”
The ups and downs of the trade talks have pushed and pulled US stocks for more than a year. In recent days, analysts have cited investors’ fear of missing out on further market gains as a factor in pushing stocks upward.
“Evidently, buying conviction was less pronounced than yesterday, but the same factors that have contributed to the market’s record run — trade progress, low rates, low volatility, and supportive monetary policy expectations — remained intact,” said Briefing.com.
Europe’s main stock markets finished narrowly mixed.
The pound fell back as Britain’s main opposition Labour party clawed back ground in the polls ahead of next month’s general election, as they attempt to unseat Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives and unleash a program of renationalization.
Alibaba stars on debut
In Hong Kong, shares in Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba surged 7.7 percent as it began trading for the first time following an $11 billion initial public offering, which is the city’s biggest since 2010.
It ended at HK$187.60, up 6.6 percent from its listing price.
Asia’s most valuable firm, which is already traded in New York, said the decision to list in Hong Kong was a vote of confidence in the city, which has been hit by months of violent protests and the trade war.
However, Asian markets struggled to extend advances from the day before despite Wall Street’s record-high closing.
Tokyo did manage to rise 0.4 percent as the trade optimism lifted the dollar against the yen, providing a boost to Japanese exporters, while Shanghai was flat.
Key figures around 2140 GMT
New York – Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 28,121,68 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 3,140.52 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.2 percent at 8,647.93 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,403.14 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 13,236.42 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 5,929.62 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,705.55 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.4 percent at 23,373.32 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 26,913.92 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: FLAT at 2,907.06 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1025 from $1.1014 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2868 from $1.2900
Euro/pound: UP at 85.68 pence from 85.38 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 109.04 yen from 108.93 yen
Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.1 percent at $64.27 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.1 percent at $58.41 per barrel