U.S. markets closed mostly higher Tuesday as investors shifted their attention away from a landmark meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to the start of a series of important central-bank meetings, kicking off with the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average switched between small gains and losses, but failed to snag a fifth straight day of gains after closing fractionally lower at 25,320.73.
European stocks meanwhile finished slightly lower with oil-and-gas companies and the basic-materials sector lead declines. The broader Stoxx Europe 600 Index ended 0.1% lower at 387.53, after rising as much as 0.4% early in the session. After the utilities sector contributed to a higher open, the FTSE 100 index began to retreat in early moves and finished down by 0.4% at 7,703.81.
US-North Korea Summit
US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a document Tuesday asserting that the U.S. president would provide unspecified “security guarantees” to Kim in exchange for the North Korean leader’s “unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” In four bullet points, they laid out goals of future rounds of negotiations without specifying what immediate steps either side would take. Trump said there would be “many meetings” between the two men.
Trump and Kim noted the symbolism of the moment in their document, calling it an “epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities” between the countries. The two leaders signed copies of the document, in Korean and English, at a signing ceremony to conclude their summit in Singapore — the first ever meeting of the North Korean and U.S. heads of state.
ZTE falls in resumed trading
Investors wiped about $3 billion off embattled Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp’s market value as it resumed trade on Wednesday after agreeing to pay up to $1.4 billion in penalties to the U.S. government. The Hong Kong-listed shares of ZTE slid as much as 41 percent to HK$14.98, their lowest in a year, following a two-month trading suspension. Its Shenzhen shares fell by their 10 percent limit to 28.18 yuan after it confirmed details of the agreement publicized by the U.S. government on Monday.
China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker was crippled when the United States imposed a seven-year supplier ban on the company in April after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who conspired to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran and North Korea. The ban, which has prevented ZTE from buying the U.S. components it relies on to make smartphones and other devices, will not be lifted until ZTE pays a fine and places $400 million more in an escrow account in a U.S.-approved bank. It was also ordered to radically overhaul its management.
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