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Saturday September 22nd, 2018 9:04PM

Stock markets higher ahead of Trump-Kim meeting

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose slightly in early Monday trading, as President Donald Trump prepared to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, despite the American president's outburst at Canada's prime minister about trade over the weekend.

European markets were boosted by an Italian official's declaration that the country has no intention of leaving the euro.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,346 as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose four points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,783 and the Nasdaq composite rose 16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,661.

NORTH KOREA TALKS: U.S. and North Korean officials were preparing for a meeting Tuesday between Trump and Kim aimed at settling the standoff over the North's nuclear arsenal. North Korea has reportedly said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits. But many say Kim's government is unlikely to give up weapons that help guarantee its survival.

TRADE TENSIONS: Trump took more swipes at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, contending that "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal."

Trump roiled the meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven major industrial economies by first agreeing to a group statement only to withdraw from it while complaining about Trudeau's criticism of his tariff threats. After leaving Canada, Trump called Trudeau "dishonest" and "weak" on Twitter. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she found Trump's tweet disavowing the G-7 statement "a little depressing."

ANALYST'S TAKE: "The far from harmonious Quebec summit confirmed deep-seated G-6+1's expanding policy fissures on a plethora of significant concerns including climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and of course trade," Stephen Innes of currency trader Oanda said in a report. "The Trump-Kim summit is the massive event that has a far-reaching regional implication. While the markets had low expectations going into G-7, assumptions are running high, so if the talks somehow go sideways, there could be a reasonably aggressive regional risk-off move."

EURO WATCH: Italy's markets jumped higher after the economy minister said the country's new populist government isn't considering leaving the eurozone or adding to the high public debt load. The statement was the strongest yet on the topic from an official in the new government. Markets had fallen sharply last month on concern that the new administration might consider pulling Italy out of the euro eventually or weakening its role in the currency.

ON FIRE: Utility company PG&E dropped $3.06, or 7 percent, to $38.55 after the state of California said a series of wildfires were caused by the company's equipment, which has liability implications for the company.

CENTRAL BANKS: Looking ahead, investors will be keeping an eye on key central bank meetings this week. The Federal Reserve will hold a meeting this week on interest rates on Wednesday. Investors broadly expect the nation's central bank to raise interest rates from their current level of 1.75 percent to 2 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 21 cents to $65.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 86 cents to $76.46 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.00 yen from Friday's 109.54 yen. The euro gained to $1.1786 from $1.1770.

____

AP Business Writer Joe McDonald contributed to this report from Beijing.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
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