Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

New York — World stock markets were little changed on Tuesday while the dollar fell slightly against an index of major currencies, as investors brushed aside a long-awaited US-North Korea summit aimed at denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore, pledging to work towards complete denuclearisation, while Washington committed to providing security guarantees for its old enemy.

The MSCI all-country world index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.07% on the day. The dollar index fell 0.04%, steadied in part by data on Tuesday showing US consumer prices rose in May amid a slowdown in the increase of petrol costs. The euro was up 0.06% to $1.1789.

Investors had mixed reactions to the North Korea summit, which ended with the signing of a joint statement that gave few details on how the goals set by both sides would be achieved.

"Any de-escalation is good, because in the background you always have worries about these situations," said Old Mutual Global Investors European fund manager Ian Ormiston.

Others felt the sit-down between Trump and Kim did little to change the game. "Markets are sceptical," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Massachusetts. "This is more of a case of ‘We’ll believe it when we see it’, rather than actually reacting."

Buyers of equities and government bonds seemed more interested in other matters. Along with the positive US inflation data, investors were focused on the kick-off of a two-day US Federal Reserve meeting, at which the Fed is expected to raise interest rates, as well as meetings later this week by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ).

"We’re eagerly awaiting the Fed, the ECB and the BOJ, in that order," said Gregory Anderson, global head of FX strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York. "People are reluctant to do a whole lot ahead of that."

Futures contracts indicate a 96% probability the fed funds rate will be raised a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, according to CME Group.

Benchmark 10-year US treasury notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.9663%, from 2.957% late on Monday. The 30-year bond last fell 4/32 in price to yield 3.1032%, from 3.097% Monday.

Wall Street’s main equity indices were mixed but steady, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 8.78 points, or 0.03%, to 25,313.53; the S&P 500 gaining 3.07 points, or 0.11%, to 2,785.07; and the Nasdaq Composite adding 28.74 points, or 0.38%, to 7,688.66.

Twitter drove the jump on the benchmark S&P, gaining 6.25% in midday trading after JP Morgan raised its price target by $11 to $50. Tesla jumped more than 4.8% after KeyBanc raised its estimates for Model 3 deliveries for the second quarter and full-year.

In Europe, the regional FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.01%. The ECB meets on Thursday, with some expecting it to provide guidance for ending its bond-buying programme at the end of this year.

The spread between Italian and German 10-year borrowing costs narrowed as the US-North Korea summit drew to a close, following a rally on Monday after re-assuring comments from Italy’s new economy minister.

Oil was mixed after falling earlier in the day. Volatility subsided to its lowest in three weeks, as investors prepared for a key meeting of oil cartel Opec next week. US crude rose 0.53% to $66.45 a barrel and Brent was last at $76.41, down 0.07%.

In Asian equity markets, trading was volatile with Japan’s Nikkei paring early gains to close 0.3% higher after earlier rising as much as 0.9%.

Reuters

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