"Big Progress"

Local and Asian markets, closing in on their worst year since 2011, has had a little relief on the last day of 2018 after U.S. President Donald Trump reported “big progress” in trade talks with his Chinese counterpart.

Shares gained in Australia, along with S&P 500 Index futures, after Trump said in a tweet that negotiations were “moving along very well” toward a comprehensive deal and Chinese state media cited President Xi Jinping as saying he believed both sides wanted “stable progress.”

Of course, its important for investors not to read too much into the recent market ‘bounce’ as trading this time of year is extremely ‘thin’, and as such, prone to big swings in either direction. Remember, the partial US Government shutdown is still ongoing and a hard Brexit looms. This is a time for caution.

That said, if the US & China can find a way to begin patching-up their differences over the coming weeks, this would be a very positive development for the markets and the global economy. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Westmount wishes our clients and subscribers a safe and happy New Year celebration and we look forward to seeing you all on ‘the other side’, in 2019!

Drive safely!

Rick Maggi