LONDON MARKET CLOSE: US Tariff Delay News Sparks Late Surge In Europe

Tue, 13th Aug 2019 16:58

(Alliance News) - London stocks saw a sharp turnaround in fortunes as Tuesday's session progressed on news the US will delay some tariffs on Chinese products. The decision caused safe haven asset gold to give up the session's gains, while oil surged on demand hopes amid the easing tensions. The FTSE 100 index closed up 24.18 points, or 0.3%, at 7,250.90 on Tuesday. The UK's headline stock index had traded as low as 7,166.86 during the session before embarking on a rapid change of course in the last couple of hours of trade in the wake of the US-China tariff news.The FTSE 250 ended up 95.18 points, or 0.5%, at 19,008.18, and the AIM All-Share closed just 0.39 of a point higher at 876.99.The Cboe UK 100 ended up 0.3% at 12,297.70, the Cboe UK 250 closed up 0.3% at 16,905.40, and the Cboe Small Companies ended down 0.1% at 10,916.22.In European equities on Tuesday, the CAC 40 in Paris ended up 1.0%, while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt finished 0.6% higher.The upbeat end to Tuesday's session came after the US said it is delaying the imposition of new 10% tariffs on Chinese electronics until mid-December. The delay impacts cell phones, laptops, computer monitors, video game consoles and some toys, footwear and clothing, the US trade representative said in a statement. The US will, nonetheless, go ahead with new duties on all other items - excluding the postponed list of goods - on September 1.As Washington and Beijing work to resolve the escalating trade war, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with Chinese trade officials early Tuesday and has another call planned in two weeks, a USTR official told French news agency AFP."This news completely changed the complexion of Tuesday's previously dour trading, and caused the Dow Jones to go a bit doolally after the bell rang on Wall Street," said Connor Campbell at Spreadex.Stocks in New York were substantially higher at the London equities close, with the Dow Jones up 1.7%, the S&P 500 index up 1.6%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surging 2.0%.Shares in iPhone maker Apple surged 4.4% as the tech sector rallied on news of the electronics tariff delay.As well as the tech sector, the dollar got a boost. "The US dollar index was lifted by the US inflation figures, and the tariffs delay announcement helped with the positive move. The greenback has been held back by the US-China trade tensions, and we might see some more funds flow in to the dollar in light of the trade news," said David Madden at CMC Markets.Headline US inflation accelerated in July amid higher prices for energy and other goods and services, the Labor Department said. The US Labor Department said the consumer price index rose 1.8% year-on-year in July, following a 1.6% increase in June. The figure beat the consensus estimate, cited by FXStreet, for a 1.7% rise.With the dollar strengthening, the pound ended the session slightly softer despite the UK posting solid jobs data for June. UK average weekly earnings in the three months to June grew 3.7% on an annual basis including bonuses, while wages were up 3.9% for regular pay, excluding bonuses.Total pay growth came in line with expectations, while consensus for regular pay growth, as cited by FXSteet, had stood at 3.8%. For the three months to May, average weekly earnings growth including bonuses was revised up to 3.5% from 3.4%, while excluding bonuses this came in at 3.6%.The pound was quoted at USD1.2062 at the London equities close Tuesday, compared to USD1.2071 at the close on Monday.Meanwhile, the euro stood at USD1.1190 at the European equities close Tuesday, down from USD1.1222 at the same time on Monday.The single currency was hampered as data showed German economic sentiment deteriorated more than expected in August to levels not seen since late 2011.Data from the ZEW-Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research showed the Indicator of Economic Sentiment fell to negative 44.1 points in August from negative 24.5 in July. This was weaker than the negative 30.0 print forecast by economists, according to data from FX Street.The August print was the lowest level the indicator has hit since December 2011, sitting considerably below the long-run average of positive 21.6 points. Turning back to beneficiaries from the easing in US-China trade tensions, Brent oil was quoted at USD60.84 a barrel at the London equities close Tuesday from USD58.36 late Monday."Oil was given a shot in the arm due to the tariff news, and dealers bought into the energy market in the belief that an easing of trade tensions should equate to a higher demand for oil, particularly in China, which is a major importer of the energy," said David Madden at CMC Markets.This caused BP to rise 1.4%, Royal Dutch Shell 'A' shares to end up 1.0% and 'B' shares up 1.6%.However, safe haven asset gold gave back gains on the news, quoted at USD1,502.50 an ounce at the London equities close Tuesday against USD1,508.22 at the close on Monday. During Tuesday's session, the precious metal traded in excess of USD1,530 before slipping back on the US tariff decision.Gold miner Fresnillo, which at one point on Tuesday topped the FTSE 100, ended down 1.0%.Naeem Aslam at ThinkMarkets was wary of reading too much into the latest trade war headlines in respect to gold, however."The fact is that we have seen this film before and it could be naive to think so much on the back of this headline. I think that the current pullback could be an opportunity for gold traders to add more into their position especially if price drops below USD1,500," said Aslam.Miners exposed to industrial commodities were among the top performers amid Tuesday's trade news. Glencore closed up 2.7%, Anglo American up 2.5% and Antofagasta up 2.6%. Towards the other end of the index was InterContinental Hotels Group, ending down 1.2% after Berenberg cut the Holiday Inn owner to Hold from Buy.In the FTSE 250, Plus500 shares rallied 20% after the firm said it "performed well" in a difficult period for the industry.The contracts-for-difference trading provider's revenue for the six months to June fell 68% year-on-year to USD148.0 million, with pretax profit slumping 82% to USD63.9 million.Plus500's net profit fell 80% to USD51.6 million, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation down 81% to USD65.6 million. Card Factory finished 3.8% lower as it reported first half sales growth despite a "weaker" second quarter. For the first half, the company recorded same store sales growth of 1.5% versus a 0.2% drop in the year ago period. Total sales grew 5.5%, from 3.2% a year ago. A strong first quarter, helped by Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, was followed by a "weaker" second quarter due to lower footfall.Shares in luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings reversed 3.3% after Credit Suisse cut the stock to Neutral from Outperform.In the UK corporate calendar on Wednesday, there are interim results from insurer Admiral, cybersecurity firm Avast and construction firm Balfour Beatty. At 0930 BST there are interim results from financial services firm Prudential.In the economic calendar, Chinese industrial production is at 0300 BST followed by German gross domestic product at 0700 BST. In the UK, consumer price inflation is at 0930 BST while eurozone GDP is at 1000 BST.

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