Global shares rise on optimism about US-China trade deal

Business

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Asian shares were rising Thursday amid renewed hopes a U.S. trade deal with China may be nearing, despite tough recent talk from President Donald Trump.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

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TOKYO (AP) — Global shares mostly rose Thursday amid renewed hopes that a U.S. trade deal with China may be near despite recent tough talk from President Donald Trump.

After Asian markets largely closed higher, France’s CAC 40 added nearly 0.7% to 5,839, while Germany’s DAX inched up less than 0.1% to 13,135. Britain’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.3% to 7,167.

U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures adding 0.3% and S&P 500 futures up 0.2%.

The market has swung sharply for months on every hint of progress or delay in talks between the world’s largest economies.

In the latest development, Bloomberg News reported that U.S. negotiators expect a “Phase 1” trade agreement to be completed before U.S. tariffs are set to rise on Chinese products on Dec. 15.

The report came a day after Trump said he wouldn’t mind waiting until after the 2020 elections for a deal, a remark that officials reportedly called off the cuff but nevertheless sent markets skidding.

“The trade war will be the key driver of sentiment in the immediate few weeks,” DBS Group analysts wrote in a report.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.7% to finish at 23,300.09, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 1.2% to 6,683.00. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.4% to 2,060.74. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.6% at 26,217.04, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7% to 2,899.47.

Reaction was muted to reports by Kyodo News and other Japanese media that Tokyo plans a 26 trillion-yen ($239 billion) stimulus package to prop up growth, following an October sales tax hike.

The package, set to be approved later in the day, includes 13 trillion yen ($119 billion) of government spending and the remainder coming from the private sector, the reports said.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $58.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as members of OPEC discuss whether to cut production levels. They are expected to prolong cuts they have backed for three years, with some analysts saying they could vote for a deeper reduction in supply.

Brent crude, the international standard for oil, was up 53 cents to $62.53.

In currencies, the pound was up as investors seemed to bet that the Conservative Party would win the British election, which some think would make it more likely that a Brexit deal might be clinched soon. The currency was up 0.2%, adding to gains from earlier this week.

The dollar was flat against the Japanese yen, at 108.84 yen, while the euro edged up 0.1% to $1.1094.

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