NEW YORK: General Electric Co and U.S. technology shares rose on Tuesday, helping global stock markets regain ground a day after a mounting trade fight between the United States and other top world economies chased investors into safe-haven assets.
GE jumped 7.6 percent, the biggest percentage gainer on Wall Street’s S&P 500 index, after the company said it would spin off its healthcare business and divest its stake in oil-services company Baker Hughes.
Tech stocks rebounded from a sharp selloff on Monday, after U.S. government officials said plans were in the works to block firms with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying U.S. companies with “industrially significant technology.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.5 points, or 0.08 percent, to 24,271.3, the S&P 500 gained 2.99 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,720.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 14.48 points, or 0.19 percent, to 7,546.48.
Europe’s main stock exchanges also got a reprieve. A 0.3 percent rise on the FTSE in London and 0.03 percent gain in Paris were a welcome sight after Asia had extended a sell-off that has wiped $1.5 trillion off world stocks.
Despite the modest gains, investors remained wary.
“There is still generally a focus on trade and a bit of uncertainty over what we are going to hear from the Trump administration this week regarding potential investment restrictions,” said Brian Daingerfield, macro strategist at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut.
Escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, as well as Washington and Europe, led two benchmark Wall Street indexes on Monday to suffer their worst losses in more than two months and launched China into bear market territory, with its major stock indexes down 20 percent decline from January peaks.
After seeing a surge in buying on Monday, U.S. Treasury yields held at lower levels on lingering fears that trade tensions could hurt economic growth, though safe-haven buying was capped on anticipation of more interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. [
The tense atmosphere knocked down most industrial metal prices amid worries about the global economic fallout of the trade conflict between the U.S. and China, which could hamper growth and metals demand.
Copper and aluminum were at or near their lowest since April while zinc plunged to its weakest since August last year.
In currencies, dollar index rose 0.29 percent, with the euro down 0.32 percent to $1.1664.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.12 percent versus the greenback at 109.92 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3244, down 0.23 percent on the day.
The Turkish lira firmed against the dollar in volatile trade amid uncertainty over economic policy under a new government due to be formed following President Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in Sunday’s election.
In oil, prices rose on production losses in Canada, Libya and from the Neutral Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but they remained under pressure from greater supply from others in OPEC and the escalating trade disputes.
U.S. crude rose 0.26 percent to $68.26 per barrel and Brent was last at $74.19, down 0.48 percent on the day..