Stocks, dollar edge higher ahead of Trump-Xi meeting
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets and the dollar edged higher on Thursday, helped by fresh data showing a tighter U.S. labor market, as investors stayed cautious before the first meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Key stock indexes in Europe and on Wall Street climbed but a gauge of global equities .MIWD00000PUS was little changed, with gains offset by a decline in emerging markets .MSCIEF.
The dollar index .DXY rose after data showed new applications last week for U.S. unemployment benefits recorded their biggest drop in nearly two years.
Last week's jobless claims data, however, has little bearing on the March employment report due out on Friday. Claims rose during the survey week for nonfarm payrolls last month, suggesting some moderation in the pace of job growth.
"The market will be very remiss to do anything too sharp at this point, given that we have payrolls coming up," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities in New York.
The dollar index .DXY rose 0.17 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.21 percent to $1.064. The Japanese yen JPY= eased 0.07 percent versus the greenback at 110.79 per dollar.
Trump faces pressure to deliver trade concessions with China for some of his most fervent supporters and to prevent a crisis with North Korea from spiraling out of control. However, White House officials have set expectations low for the meeting.
The market's main concern is that Trump and Xi may not see eye-to-eye on most things and that traders will infer this from their body language, said Thierry Albert Wizman, global interest rates and currencies strategist, at Macquarie Group in New York. Continued...