Stocks slide as traders have doubts about a US-China trade deal; European stocks close higher as focus stays on global trade talks
Stocks fell slightly on Monday as investors looked ahead to U.S.-China trade talks, which are set to begin later this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 95.70 points, or 0.4% at 26,478.02. The S&P 500 dipped 0.5% to 2,938.79 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3% to close at 7,956.29. The indexes alternated between slight gains and losses for most of the session before ultimately closing lower.
In corporate news, ConocoPhillips rose more than 2% after the company raised its quarterly dividend by 37.7% to 42 cents per share. The stock was among the best performers in the S&P 500.
Uber Technologies climbed more than 2% after an analyst at Citigroup upgraded the ride-sharing service to buy from neutral, citing a favorable “risk/reward” outlook.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally gained 0.74%, led by a 0.4% rise for chemicals and energy stocks while media and financial services continued to lag. Stocks were buoyed Friday by a positive jobs report out of the U.S. which eased fears of a slowdown in the world’s largest economy. Investor focus is now attuned to trade developments, with a fresh round of U.S.-China talks due to commence later this week.
Austrian chipmaker AMS said on Friday that its takeover bid for German lighting group Osram had failed, falling short of the required 62.5% shareholder agreement. Osram Licht stock fell 3.3% by the end of trade, while AMS slipped 0.9% lower.
Steady progress in improvement of Serbian business climate
Serbia is continuing a steady but moderate progress in improvement of the business climate and a positive trend in conducting reforms is evident, Foreign Investors Council (FIC) President Yana Mikhailova has told representatives of EU institutions during two-day discussions in Brussels. In the discussions with EU institutions, the FIC "underlined the instrumental importance of reforms in the following fields: tax, labour, trade and inspections, food safety, real-estate, digitalisation & e-commerce, the pharma industry, and the general legal framework (specifically bankruptcy and foreign exchange regulations)."
Serbian parliaments adopts amended 2019 budget
The Serbian Parliament adopted an amended state budget for 2019 which includes 50 billion Dinars (1 Euro – 118 Dinars) of surplus funds to raise public sector salaries, make a single payment to pensioners, assist people with loans in Swiss Francs and fund capital investments. Public sector salaries will be raised between eight and 15 percent as of November 1 and pensioners will get a once-off payment of 5,000 Dinars early in December. The Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure Ministry will get money to pay for several highway sections and the Ministries of Science and Education and Labor and Social Affairs will get more funding for their respective activities. A fiscal surplus of 37.2 billion Dinars was recorded in the January-August period with a primary fiscal surplus of 122.3 billion Dinars. A fiscal deficit of 13.7 billion Dinars was planned for that period, the Finance Ministry said.
Turkish Erdoğan arrives in Belgrade, focus of visit on economy
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish President, arrived in Belgrade for the two-day visit on Monday. A statement carried by the state RTS TV said the focus of Erdoğan’s visit would be on the trade between the two countries which was over two billion Euros last year, while at the same time, Turkey invested some 200 million Euros in Serbia. The statement added it was expected that five more Turkish companies open businesses in Serbia during the visit and that Serb start-up and IT companies make first steps towards the Turkish market.