December 4, 2018 / 8:00 PM / 5 days ago

U.S. Treasury secretary says investors on edge over trade talks

FILE PHOTO - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the news media after giving a television interview at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Investors who pushed equity prices sharply lower on Tuesday are grappling with uncertainty over whether U.S. President Donald Trump will strike a deal to avert an escalation of America’s trade war with China, the U.S. Treasury secretary said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a forum hosted by the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted that financial markets opened sharply higher on Monday after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day trade war ceasefire over the weekend.

On Tuesday, however, Wall Street equity prices fell more than 2 percent, led by bank stocks.

“The market is trying to figure out: ‘Is there going to be a real deal at the end of 90 days or not?’” Mnuchin said.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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