FYI: U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Monday morning.
At around 04:45 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 68 points, indicating a positive open of more than 81 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both seen marginally higher.
Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, as investors continue to closely monitor a long-running dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
U.S. national security advisor Robert O’Brien said on Saturday that a so-called “phase one” trade deal with China could happen before the end of the year. However, he also cautioned President Donald Trump would not ignore ongoing protests in Hong Kong
Global stocks rose Monday after China said it would step up intellectual property protection and enforcement, a move that investors hope may address one of the key concerns for U.S. negotiators on the trade deal.
China’s government called for speeding up the introduction on penalties and punitive action for infringement of patents and copyrights in a document released Sunday.
That step has cheered markets as better protection of intellectual property rights is among a host of issues that are being negotiated between the world’s two largest economies. The U.S. has indicated it wants clearer assurances that China will follow through on the commitments it has made on the issue, and on others such as agricultural purchases, before negotiators will travel to Beijing for a new round of talks for a “phase one” trade deal.
The optimism about prospects for the trade talks boosted markets’ appetite for riskier assets, and sapped demand for assets that are normally considered haven investments. The yield on the 10-year German bund rose to minus 0.348%, from minus 0.358% Friday, while the rate on 10-year U.S. Treasurys rose to 1.789%, from 1.772% Friday. Gold prices fell 0.3%.
Over in the U.K., the pound rose 0.4% against the U.S. dollar as the Conservative Party maintained its lead in weekend opinion polls after unveiling its manifesto for the Dec. 12 general elections. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday made a series of spending pledges and ruled out increases in income tax.