Xi tells Trump cooperation best for both countries

Trump said he had had

Trump said he had had

As a decade-long equity bull run starts to waver, US stocks halted a two-day rally Friday as thin trading added to already-volatile markets, though the S&P 500 Index held onto its first weekly gain in a month.

LOUSY YEAR: The S&P 500 index, the market's main benchmark, is on track for a loss of 6.5 per cent this year, or 5.2 per cent once dividends are included.

■ The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index ended Monday at 2,506.85, up 21.11 points, or 0.85 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.3 percent to 25,485.70 while the Sensex in India was flat at 36,079.85.

Beijing has also become the world's largest holder of US government bonds since 2008, suggesting the United States has been more dependent on China's fast-growing market. The Nasdaq rose 50 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,635. The Nasdaq finished down 4.38 percent for the year.

According to Xinhua, Mr Trump praised the last four decades of diplomacy between China and the United States, hailing his "solid friendship" with the Chinese leader.

"The threat of an escalating trade war has chilled USA business confidence, with managers uncertain as to if/how they should restructure global supply chains", Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, wrote in a note to clients.

Chinese manufacturers are also getting squeezed by the trade war. "It is time for the USA government to realize that the negotiations with China should be based on reality". -China trade dispute provided a glimmer of optimism for investors.

Nine out of 11 USA sectors were in negative territory at the end of Monday's session, with the energy and materials sectors leading the way downward.

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On Monday, benchmark USA crude oil inched up 0.2 percent to settle at $45.41 a barrel in NY.

"The global equity markets need a strong Chinese economy, and it's faltering, " Kilduff said. "I expect this trend to continue in the coming year".

The 2018 US National Security Strategy and US National Defense Strategy called China a strategic competitor and a revisionist power that aims to challenge US interests, which led many to believe that the US has taken a more hawkish attitude toward China. The VIX volatility index spiked, and CNN Business' Fear & Greed Index has been stuck in "Extreme Fear" throughout much of the year. In 2018 there were 110 market swings of 1 percent in the S&P, compared with 10 in 2017.

Factory activity weakened further in December, an official survey showed Monday, boosting pressure on Beijing to reverse an economic slowdown as it heads into trade talks with Washington.

There have been small signs of progress - and the absence of new threats from Trump. Stocks pushed toward record highs by early autumn.

"For markets to move higher next year, we're going to have to resolve those issues", Kravetz said. This year's Christmas Eve was the worst ever for the index.

Merck shares rose more than 1 percent, ending the year as the best-performing Dow component of 2018.

When markets opened December 26, the Nasdaq was deep in bear-market territory, and the S&P was close behind.

The Shanghai Composite entered a bear market in June and has now declined almost 25% since the start of the year. All three are down about 9 percent since the beginning of the month.

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