Global stocks rise on optimism over China-US trade talks

TOKYO (AP) — Global stock markets advanced Friday amid optimism over the potential for China-U.S. trade talks to help end a tariffs war between the two largest economies.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 advanced 1 percent to 4,919, while Germany’s DAX gained 1.4 percent to 11,284. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.4 percent to 6,843. U.S. shares were set to rise, with Dow and S&P 500 futures both up 0.7 percent.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.0 percent to finish at 20,773.56. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 percent to 5,905.60, while South Korea’s Kospi surged 1.5 percent to 2,177.73. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.6 percent to 27,548.43, while the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.4 percent to 2,601.72. Shares also rose in Taiwan, in Southeast Asia and India, where the Sensex gained 0.2 percent to 36,273.53.

CHINA-US TRADE: Mixed messages emerged on China-U.S. trade, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying the two sides are still “miles and miles from getting a resolution” as they prepare for talks next week in Washington. But Ross told CNBC in an interview that he believed a deal was possible, and that a very large delegation of Chinese officials, led by Vice Premier Liu He, was headed to the U.S. capital for the talks.

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ANALYST’S TAKE: Regarding trade talks, “the takeaway here remains the fact that we would likely continue to find headlines surrounding the issue prior and through the meeting to keep one guessing on the outcome,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. “The latest episode, seemingly taken with a pinch of salt as posturing, appears to have kept the damage to a minimum.”

INTEREST RATES: European Central Bank head Mario Draghi on Thursday said risks to the European economy are increasing and the bank is ready to “adjust all of its instruments” if it runs into serious trouble. The ECB is aiming to raise rates, but the European economy has cooled as countries including Germany have lost some strength. Its declaration that it stands ready to provide support to the economy seems to have encouraged some investors.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil added 23 cents to $53.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1 percent to $53.13 per barrel in New York overnight. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 12 cents to $61.21 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 109.80 yen from 109.53 yen. The euro fell to $1.1337 from $1.1389.

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