Producers of metals and other raw materials rose after the abrupt departure of hawkish White House national-security adviser John Bolton was seen as potentially easing tensions with China.
Soybean futures, sensitive to changes in the outlook for trade relations because China has targeted the crop for tariffs, rose sharply.
"The news about Bolton being fired seems to have sparked a short squeeze across the entire ag sector," said independent trader Dan Norcini, as reported earlier. "He is a super hardliner and the thinking might be that with him gone, a deal with China is much more likely."
One brokerage said the European steel business is close to an inflection point. "We believe the sector is in the last leg of a down-cycle, with capacity cuts in the second half of 2019 and a sharp fall in net imports," as production growth in China slows, said analysts at brokerage Credit Suisse, in a note to clients. The utilization rates at European steel mills are set to drop below the 80% level where prices and profit margins typically rise, and "utilisation rates are the most important determinant of steel companies' profitability," the Credit Suisse analysts said.
China is still struggling with pork shortages and spiking meat prices after a yearlong outbreak of African swine fever decimated pig farms nationwide, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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