Bloomberg reported today that U.S. trade negotiators expect a phase-one trade deal with China will be completed before U.S. tariffs are set to increase on Dec 15, despite tensions over Hong Kong and Xinjiang where U.S. legislators voted to sanction Chinese officials for alleged human-rights abuses. The Bloomberg report said the only outstanding issues are how to guarantee Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural goods and exactly which tariffs will be rolled back.
European stocks also garnered support from an upward revision to the Eurozone Nov Markit composite PMI. In addition, hard-Brexit concerns receded, which pushed GBP/USD up +0.58% to a 6-3/4 month high, as polls show UK Prime Minister Johnson’s Conservative party increased their lead before next Thursday’s election. Asian stocks settled lower as China’s Shanghai Composite closed down -0.23% and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Index closed down -1.05% at a 1-week low. Losses in Chinese stocks were contained after the China Nov Caixin services PMI rose +2.4 to a 7-month high of 53.5. The dollar index is down -0.04%. EUR/USD is down -0.06%. USD/JPY is unchanged. Mar 10-year T-notes are down -7.5 ticks.