Asian shares and U.S. stock futures darted in and out of losses on Tuesday, as the holiday lull offset optimism that a U.S.-China trade deal will boost exports and corporate earnings. Wall Street’s main indexes posted record closing highs on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump said an initial U.S.-China trade pact would be signed soon.
Oil prices held steady before data on U.S. crude inventories later on Tuesday, but there are signs that recent supply cuts may not last after Russia’s energy minister said oil producers could ease output restrictions in March. OPEC and other leading oil producers may consider easing oil output restrictions at their meeting in March, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview aired on Monday.
The Australian dollar held firm on Tuesday near a 4-1/2-month peak on optimism about U.S.-China trade relations, while the British pound was on the defensive as worries resurfaced about a chaotic departure from the European Union. The British pound, however, slipped to three-week lows as the market braced for more uncertainty after the United Kingdom officially leaves the European Union in January.
Gold prices rose to their highest in a month and a half on Tuesday, as soft economic data out of the United States and concerns about an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal lent support to the safe-haven bullion.
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