USA stocks climbed in early trading Monday as hopes grew for progress in resolving trade frictions between the US and China.
Washington and Beijing have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than US$300 billion (RM1.24 trillion) worth of goods, and the trade conflict has spooked markets worldwide. Sixty-four percent of the more than 400 companies surveyed said they were considering relocating production lines to outside of China, but only 1 percent said they had any plans to establish manufacturing bases in North America.
MSCI's emerging markets index rose 0.32 percent, while the MSCI world stock index gained 0.66 percent. 2018 was a year fraught with volatility, characterized by record highs and sharp reversals. The major United States stock indexes closed last week with their first weekly gain in what's been an otherwise painful month.
The autumn sell-off knocked the benchmark S&P 500 index into a correction, or a drop of 10 per cent from its all-time high, for the second time in nine months.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday highlighted the importance of cooperation between the USA and China in a message to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: "No choice" on continuing government shutdown Syrian troop withdraw will take four months: report Kim Jong Un: North Korea may "seek a new path" if United States doesn't negotiate MORE marking 40 years of normalized relations between the two countries.
Trump also praised the direction of talks with Beijing, writing on Twitter that "the deal is moving along very well". If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute.
Trump reported "big progress" in trade talks with his Chinese counterpart, providing an optimistic start to what could be a make-or-break year for ties between the world's two largest economies.
All 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 ended the session in positive territory. The last time the index fell for the year was in 2008 during the financial crisis.
Oil posted its first year of losses since 2015, with Brent crude futures down 19.5 percent and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures down 24.8 percent.
Healthcare .SPXHC and tariff-sensitive technology .SPLRCT stocks, led by Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc, provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 on Monday. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals rose 2.4 per cent to $371.40. It advanced 72 cents on Friday.
READY TO SHOP: Traders bid up shares in department store chains and other retailers.
To compensate suffering farmers, the USA government has allocated about $11 billion to direct payments and buying agricultural goods for government food programs, after consulting economists, including Tyner.
Sino-U.S. ties, meanwhile, have been dealt a further blow after Canadian authorities arrested the chief financial officer of China's telecommunication giant Huawei Technologies Co.in Vancouver on December 1 at the request of Washington.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was down 0.3 percent and on track to end December with a loss. The euro weakened to $1.1439 from $1.1442.
China is already considering a new law on the practice of forced technology transfer that has drawn USA ire, and stepped up internal scrutiny of Belt and Road as poorer countries adopt a more cautious approach to China's plans for what it regards as its backyard.