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Global Stocks, Treasury Yields Slip

European stocks followed Asian indexes lower Tuesday, while haven assets gained, as investors turned cautious a day after the recent rally in global markets paused.

The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.3% in the opening minutes of trade led by losses for the index’s autos and banking sectors.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.5%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1.3% and China’s benchmark Shanghai composite fell 0.8%.

Assets perceived by investors to be safer stores of wealth strengthened, with U.S. government bonds and gold both rising.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, which falls as the price rises, dipped to 2.005%, from 2.021% on Monday. Gold prices climbed 0.8% to $1,430.61 a troy ounce.

Stocks broadly rallied last week as investors welcomed signals from the world’s major central banks that they would move to support the global economy if signs of slowing persisted. In contrast, investors this week have largely held back from making big moves as their focus has shifted to the G-20 summit in Japan due to begin on Friday.

Investors and analysts see a planned meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit as a crucial moment in the trade dispute between the two nations. The skirmish has roiled markets this year and threatened to further weaken the global economy, which has already shown signs of flagging after a long period of expansion.

“Prudence is still justified because obviously the bar is quite high for a truce between the U.S. and China on tariffs at this week’s G-20,” said Kenneth Broux, a senior strategist at Société Générale. “The danger is of course that everything ends in acrimony and the whole moves of the last week or so reverse if the U.S. decides to raise tariffs to 25% on the remaining $300 billion [of Chinese goods].”

U.S. stock futures were also lower following a quiet session on Monday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 0.2% while S&P 500 futures fell 0.3%.

“After the deafening roar of markets last week, yesterday saw a little peace and quiet return,” said Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank. “A lull in news-flow, broad fatigue and a general wait-and-see mode ahead of the G-20 all appeared to play a role.”

Elsewhere in commodities, global benchmark Brent crude shed 0.4% to $63.94 a barrel, while U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 0.2% to $57.80.

Source: Dow Jones

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