US stocks close higher; US-China trade talks in focus

Dow plunges 700 points amid escalating trade war between US, China

Stocks rose on Tuesday, regaining some of the sharp losses from the previous session, as investors weighed the impact of the escalating trade war between the United States and China.

"We are in a much better position now than any deal we could have made", he said, part of 10 tweets addressing the China talks, including a suggestion that the US Federal Reserve tie interest rates to China's if Beijing lowers rates.

The S&P 500 rose 13 points, or 0.5%, to 2,825. It recovered almost a third of Monday's loss and would now need to rise 3.9% to regain the record it set a couple weeks ago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday fell 617.38 points, or 2.38 per cent, to 25,324.99, the S&P 500 lost 69.52 points, or 2.41 per cent, to 2,811.88 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 269.92 points, or 3.41 per cent, to 7,647.02.

On currency markets the yuan - which has fallen more than two per cent since Trump last week threatened to hike tariffs - edged up slightly against the dollar, while the greenback was also slightly lower against the pound and euro.

"Even if a deal is signed next week, it is now clear to us that the China-US relationship will be fraught for decades to come" analysts at brokerage firm Jefferies wrote in a client note.

Investors are looking for a "place of equilibrium", said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research for Nationwide Investment Management. "It feels like an attempted recovery that may not have legs". Many are still confident that both sides will eventually reach a deal. "In the short term, it looks like volatility is here to stay and we could see this risk-off, risk-on going on for a long time".

Tech stocks took a beating, especially those sensitive to the worsening U.S.

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The Dow and S&P 500 had their worst day since January 3, according to Refinitiv.

Technology companies, which do a lot of business with China, led the way lower.

The S&P 500 posted 12 new 52-week highs and 22 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 30 new highs and 151 new lows. On Monday it leaped 28.1%. This could mean that the sentiment-driven rebound in markets may just be a temporary relief. Technology stocks had the largest percentage gains, climbing 2.1%. -China trade war because many of their customers and suppliers are overseas.

In response, some are trimming investments in stocks and favoring cash or other assets considered safer. When a bond's price falls, its yield rises. It was at 2.45% at the end of last week.

Shares of gold miner St Barbara were placed in a trading halt at $3.32 after it announced plans to buy Canada's Atlantic Gold Corporation for $C802 million ($A854 million).

Silver slipped 0.1% to $14.78 per ounce and copper rose 2% to $2.72 per pound. Utilities were the only sector to rise on the stock market, and prices for US government bonds, which are considered ultra-safe investments, rose sharply, sending yields lower.

ANZ was down 1.63 per cent to $26.00, Commonwealth was down 1.56 per cent to $72.35, NAB was down 4.88 per cent to $24.19, and Westpac was down 1.20 per cent to $26.795. Oil retreated and gold rose.

Oil prices held steady and the dollar was trading at 109.59 Japanese yen.

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