Stocks Rise on Trade Talks Optimism, Dollar Index Bounces-off a Key Support


US stock futures ended a volatile session on a strong note on hopes that the United States and China will reach a trade deal that will put an end to the ongoing trade war. During 2018, the trade tensions between the world's largest economies were key drivers to the financial markets and weighed heavily on the global economic outlook. A strong deal should spark investors' risk appetite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.3% to 23540, the S&P500 futures added 0.7% to 2553, and the Nasdaq futures jumped 0.8% to 6505.


The dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies bounced-off key support area near 95.65, to trade higher at 95.65. Lately, the expectations that the Federal Reserve will not be able to continue its monetary policy tightening cycle weighed on the dollar. Last Friday, Chairman Jerome Powell seemed more cautious about the Fed's next move. USDJPY traded at a high of 109, and the EURUSD fell back to $1.1435 after trading near $1.15.


Metals prices faltered as the dollar regained some strength and investors seemed to jump into riskier assets as China and United States talk on trade. The gold ounce erased Monday's gains and fell to $1283, and the silver ounce tumbled to a low of $15.48. Meanwhile, palladium hovered above $1300 for the second day.


Oil prices continued higher, supported by the trade talk optimism and OPEC+ supply cut. Market participants are hoping that a trade deal between China and the United States could boost the global economy and raise oil demand. The West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 1% to $48.74, and the Brent futures added 0.4% to $57.59. The American Petroleum Institute will report the US weekly crude oil stock later today.

Major Economic Events

GMT Country Event Expectation Previous
8:30 UK Halifax House Price Index (MoM) (Dec) 0.5% -1.4%
15:00 US JOLTs Job Openings (Nov) 7.170 7.079
21:30 US API Weekly Crude Oil Stock   6.920


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