NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s indexes ended Tuesday’s session virtually unchanged after investors turned their focus to U.S.-China trade tensions as euphoria from Friday’s U.S.-Mexico deal faded.
An uptick in U.S. inflation and strong results from a $38 billion Treasury auction drove short-dated yields higher, flattening the yield curve.
A U.S.-Mexico trade and immigration agreement announced late on Friday had prompted a Monday rally that carried over to Tuesday morning in part because it prompted investor hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump might also reach a deal with China.
But the mood soured later in the day after Trump said had no interest in moving ahead with a U.S.-China trade deal unless Beijing agreed to four or five “major points” that he did not specify. China vowed a tough response if the United States kept escalating tensions during talks.
Trump has said he would meet with China’s President Xi Jinping at a Group of 20 summit later this month.
“Trade sentiment is driving everything. When Trump comes out and says he’s holding up the China deal personally that shakes confidence in how things will work out later this month,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina, adding that it wasn’t clear if Trump and Xi would even end up meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14.17 points, or 0.05%, to 26,048.51, the S&P 500 lost 1.01 points, or 0.03%, to 2,885.72 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.60 points, or 0.01%, to 7,822.57.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.69% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.32%. Europe rose due to a surge in Frankfurt’s DAX after the German and Swiss market holiday on Monday.
Emerging market stocks rose 1.03%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.06% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.33%. The Shanghai composite index had closed up 2.6%.
FLATTER YIELD CURVE
Underlying U.S. producer prices increased solidly for a second straight month in May, boosted by a surge in the cost of hotel accommodation and gains in portfolio management service fees.
An increase in prices could temper bets for rate cuts as the U.S. Federal Reserve uses rate hikes to contain inflation.
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 1/32 in price to yield 2.1448%, from 2.141% late on Monday.
Gold prices dipped as investors booked profits following robust gains over the past weeks, and demand for safe-haven bets waned due to hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal.
Spot gold dropped 0.1% to $1,326.69 an ounce.
In currency markets, the U.S. dollar index was flat as investors focused on U.S.-China trade and economic data for signals of growth and whether the Fed is likely to cut rates in the coming months.
The dollar index fell 0.07%, with the euro up 0.14% to $1.1328.
In commodities trading, oil futures ended their session flat as concerns a global economic slowdown could dent crude demand weighed against expectations that OPEC and its allies would extend supply curbs.
U.S. crude settled up 1 cent at $53.27 while Brent was unchanged at $62.29.
GRAPHIC-World FX rates in 2019: tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh