Fri, 13 Dec 2019

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks steadied on Tuesday with little incentive to push them in either direction.

U.S. President Donald Trump weighed in to the U.S.-China trade talks again, this time striking an optimistic note. He said he foresaw a deal on Phase 1 of an overall agreement being reached quite soon.

"The commentary was exactly what folks wanted to hear: that 'phase one' talks are still ongoing, that we are controlling them, but yet the belief is that China is very willing to make a deal," Delores Rubin, senior equities trader at Deutsche Bank Wealth Management in New York told Reuters Thomson.

"There was nothing contrary to what we'd already known ... so it was back to business," Rubin said.

At the close of trading Tuesday, the Dow Jones index was down 5.96 points or 0.02% at 27,685.53.

The Standard and Poor's 500 climbed 4.35 points or 0.14% to 3,091.36.

The `Nasdaq Composite edged up 21.71 points or 0.26% to 8,485.98.

The U.S. dollar continued to edge higher. The euro was the main loser, struggling to hold above 1.1000 around the New York close. The EU unit last traded at 1.1008.

The British pound was a fraction lower at 1.2855. The Japanese yen moved a few points higher to 109.00, as did the Swiss franc to 0.9928.

The Canadian dollar weakened to 1.3238. The Australian dollar fell to 0.6840, while the New Zealand dollar was sharply weaker at 0.6327.

On overseas markets, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.50%. The German Dax advanced 0.65%, while in Paris the CAC 40 rose by 0.44%.

On Asian markets, the Australian All Ordinaries fell 19.90 points or 0.29% to 6,857.10 as major bushfires caused havoc across two states.

Japan's Nikkei 225 conversely made a 188.17 point s or 0.81% gain to 23,520.01.

China's Shanghai Composite was little changed, adding 4.85 points or 0.17% to 2,914.82.

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