By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) – International stocks rose on Friday, with all three major Wall Street indexes posting weekly gains as investors grew more hopeful the U.S. government would provide additional economic stimulus.
Gold jumped and the dollar dropped as investors focused on the probability of forthcoming U.S. coronavirus relief.
Wrangling in Washington over pandemic aid has dominated global markets this week, and although U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to hammer out a deal, talks will continue despite Republican doubts.
Trump said in an interview on Friday that he wants to see a bigger stimulus package than either Democrats or Republicans were offering, a reversal from his threats at the beginning of the week that he would halt negotiations.
“We’re in one of those periods where Washington is driving Wall Street, be it either the presidential election or fiscal stimulus and today it was about the stimulus,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.
“Markets are up on the hope that more fiscal stimulus is coming but its really just hope, as communication from Washington has become somewhat erratic,” Carter added.
Trump expressed a desire to return to the campaign trail a week after announcing he had contracted COVID-19, but aides said he was unlikely to hold in-person events until Monday at the earliest.
Reuters/Ipsos polls show Trump’s approval rating plummeting, with Americans steadily losing confidence in his handling of the pandemic, while Democratic challenger Joe Biden makes gains in several key swing states.
“Biden is rising in the polls, creating both hope that fiscal stimulus is coming and less of a chance of a contested election which could be a real problem for markets,” Carter said.
Next week, investors’ attention will shift to reporting season,