Producers of metals and other raw materials rose amid optimism about a phone call between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese officials. Soybeans, the grain most directly targeted for tariffs, were more or less flat, diverging from wheat and corn. Fears of shortages drove nickel, a widely used industrial metal, to its 12th consecutive gain for its highest settle since June 2018. Paint maker PPG Industries said weak demand from industrial clients is hurting sales, challenging the company's decision to keep its paint and coatings businesses joined together. Shares of steelmaker Nucor were more or less flat after an executive said recent price hikes were accepted by the market. Gold futures rose as central banks in South Korea, Indonesia and South Africa cut interest rates.
-Rob Curran, firstname.lastname@example.org