Global stocks ease ahead of Trump-Xi meeting, dollar gains

Mon Apr 3, 2017 5:27pm EDT
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By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets eased on Monday as investors awaited the first meeting later this week between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, while the dollar gained on a positive backdrop of rising U.S. interest rates.

European shares touched a 16-month high .FTEU3 before paring gains as they tracked Asian shares higher in the wake of upbeat manufacturing data out of Europe and China.

Shares on Wall Street fell as investors assessed how Trump's protectionist stance on trade will play out during meetings with Xi slated for Thursday and Friday.

Trump held out the possibility, in an interview published on Sunday by the Financial Times, of using trade as a lever to secure Chinese cooperation against North Korea.

"The market will be anxious and will be eager to glean whatever they get from those talks," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Concerns about Trump's ability to get a pro-growth agenda through Congress have stalled a rally in U.S. equities that pushed the broad market to all-time highs a month ago.

While investors still hope Trump can achieve some of his agenda, they're "getting nervous and starting to discount some of the benefits they expected to see," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 fell 0.57 percent to close at 1,494.48, shedding earlier gains, and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.13 percent.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 30, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid