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U.S. stocks posted solid gains Monday, led by a rally in the technology and consumer discretionary sectors, as traders appeared to shrug off global trade tensions and focused on a favorable economic backdrop instead. The Dow Jones Industrial advanced 178.48 points, or 0.7%, to 24,813.69 with the Nasdaq Composite rising 52.13 points, or 0.7%, to 7,606.46 and closing at a record for the first time since March 12.
European stocks also ended higher Monday, as choppy political waters in Spain and Italy calmed and as traders took heart from news of potential corporate mergers and acquisitions. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed up 0.3% at 388.11, its best finish in a week, as utility stocks led advancers while the oil and gas and health care groups fell.
UK’s stake in RBS
Britain’s government sold 7.7 percent of Royal Bank of Scotland shares for 2.5 billion pounds ($3.33 billion) on Tuesday, realising a loss of more than two billion pounds on part of its investment in the lender it rescued in 2008. “This sale represents a significant step in returning RBS to full private ownership and putting the financial crisis behind us,” Britain’s Finance Minister Philip Hammond said.
Once one of the globe’s biggest banks, RBS under former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin embarked on an aggressive expansion course before its disastrous bid for Dutch lender ABN AMRO in 2007 left it perilously weakened as the financial crisis hit. The government sold the shares for 271 pence each in an overnight placement to institutional investors, a price almost half what it paid when bailing out RBS for 45.5 billion pounds at the height of the financial crisis.
US – North Korea
The U.S. campaign to economically isolate North Korea will continue, the White House press secretary said Monday, even as preparations advance for President Donald Trump’s summit next week with Kim Jong Un. Trump aims to persuade the North Korean dictator to give up his country’s nuclear arsenal in exchange for relief from U.S. economic sanctions. He’s promised American investment in the under-developed country would follow.
The White House set a time for Trump’s first meeting with Kim: 9 a.m. Singapore time on June 12, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. But she said there has been no change in what Trump has described as a “maximum pressure” campaign on the North Korean regime. The U.S. campaign to economically isolate North Korea will continue, the White House press secretary said Monday, even as preparations advance for President Donald Trump’s summit next week with Kim Jong Un.
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