Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, March 4:
1. U.S., China Nearing Trade Deal
With little data on the economic calendar, markets will likely focus more heavily on trade-related headlines following reports the U.S. and China were close to striking a deal to end a bitter year-long trade dispute.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could seal a formal trade deal at a summit around March 27, given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The two countries appear close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, while Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.
2. Trump Complains About Stronger Dollar
President Donald Trump renewed criticism of the Federal Reserve and said the U.S. central bank’s tight monetary policy was contributing to a strong dollar and hurting the United States’ competitiveness.
“We have a gentleman that likes a very strong dollar at the Fed,” Trump said at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on Saturday. “I want a strong dollar, but I want a dollar that’s great for our country not a dollar that is so strong that it is prohibitive for us to be dealing with other nations.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell, whom he appointed, for raising interest rates.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 96.46, after hitting its highest in around a week at 96.52 earlier.
3. U.S. Futures Point to Higher Open
U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open at the start of the trading week, thanks to reports of progress on U.S.-China trade talks.
At 5:35AM ET (10:35 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures were up 74 points, or about 0.3%, the S&P 500 futures rose 6 points, or around 0.25%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 30 points, or roughly 0.4%.
In earnings, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) is the only major company due to publish its latest quarterly figures.
Elsewhere, European stocks were mostly higher, with the pan-regional STOXX 600 index hovering around levels not seen since the beginning of October.
Earlier, markets in Asia started off a new trading week on a robust note, with Chinese stocks rallying to their best level since June 2018.