Wall Street rose on Tuesday after the Trump administration announced a delay on select Chinese import tariffs, bringing buyers back to the equities market in a broad-based rally.
Tech shares, led by Apple Inc, pulled all three major U.S. indexes higher on the news, easing fears over the contentious U.S.-China trade war and growing signs of imminent recession.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the United States would hold off on implementing additional 10 per cent tariffs on key Chinese goods, including laptops and cell phones, tariffs that were originally set to go into effect next month.
“The bargain hunters stepped in after that announcement,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist, senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.
But Pavlik warned against too much optimism.
“You really don’t know where any of this is headed, Pavlik added. “If these (trade) talks don’t show some progress, people are worried what it may bring: rising costs and a global slowdown.”
“It’s very reminiscent of when we were in Vietnam and the U.S. was in talks about ending the war and you’d get periods of high hopes followed by crushing blows.”
Apple, a likely beneficiary of the tariff delay, rose 4.3 per cent, while the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index gained 3 per cent.
In economic news, U.S. consumer prices accelerated in July, with core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, growing at 2.2 per cent year-on-year, its largest gain in six months and well above the U.S. Federal Reserve’s 2 per cent target.
The healthy inflation reading is unlikely to change market expectations for an additional interest rate cut from the Fed next month as it grapples with the trade war between the world’s two largest economies and its economic fallout.
U.S. Treasury yields rose as market participants’ risk appetite improved in the wake of Monday’s bond market rally, sending the financial sector 1.6 per cent higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 307.78 points, or 1.19 per cent, to 26,215.15, the S&P 500 gained 38.81 points, or 1.35 per cent, to 2,922.56 and the Nasdaq Composite added 152.95 points, or 1.95 per cent, to 8,016.36.
Canada’s main stock index also reversed course to turn sharply higher.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was unofficially up 113.07 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 16,350.84.
Ten of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher. Only the materials sector finished lower, dropping 0.6 per cent as gold prices sank.
The energy sector climbed 0.9 per cent as crude prices were up.
The heavyweight financials sector gained 0.7 per cent, while the industrials sector rose 0.9 per cent.
The Canadian dollar edged higher against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, with the currency recovering from an earlier five-day low as easing of global trade tensions raised investor risk appetite.
“The news that some parts of the tariff list will be delayed is constructive for risky assets and the Canadian dollar is taking its cue from that,” said Bipan Rai, North America head of FX strategy at CIBC Capital Markets
Canada runs a current account deficit and exports many commodities, including oil, so its economy could be hurt by a slowdown in the global flow of trade or capital.
The Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 per cent higher at 1.3222 to the greenback, or 75.63 U.S. cents. The currency’s strongest intraday level was 1.3185, while it touched its weakest since last Thursday at 1.3293
Stock markets overseas turned higher following the U.S. and Chinese announcements on trade. The French CAC 40 jumped 1 per cent after being down for most of the day. The German DAX rose 0.6 per cent, and the FTSE 100 in London added 0.3 per cent.
Asian markets had already closed before the announcements, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.1 per cent. The Hang Seng lost 2.1 per cent in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protests crippled Hong Kong’s airport for a second day. The Chinese government cast an ominous shadow over the growing protests by calling them “sprouts of terrorism” and raised concerns over how it may respond.
Oil prices on Tuesday jumped by the most so far this year after the United States said it would delay imposing a 10 per cent tariff on certain Chinese products, easing concerns over a global trade war that has pummeled the market in recent months.
The Chinese products include laptops and cellphones. The tariffs had been scheduled to start next month.
“The U.S.-China trade war has caused energy demand growth to take a big hit. Any glimmer of hope revives the prospects for a more positive demand landscape,” said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital Management in New York.
Brent futures rose $2.73, or 4.7 per cent, to settle at $61.30 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained $2.17, or 4.0 per cent, to settle at $57.10.
That was the biggest daily percentage gain for Brent since December when the contract gained 7.9 per cent.
Since falling to their lowest levels since January on Aug. 7, Brent has gained 9 per cent and WTI 12 per cent. That bigger gain in WTI over the past four days briefly cut Brent’s premium over WTI to its lowest since March 2018.
Reuters and The Associated Press