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Global stocks boosted by China-US talk hopes

Tokyo stocks

AFP – Stocks floated higher on Thursday, lifted by positive sentiment surrounding the US-China trade war, while the pound steadied after a Brexit-fueled slump.

China’s Commerce Ministry hinted Beijing could break the cycle of tit-for-tat retaliation in the trade war with the United States, while in Washington US President Donald Trump said the two sides continued to talk.

Hope the countries could avoid catastrophe sent Wall Street higher for a second day while European stocks rebounded and London consolidated gains. Asian bourses were mainly flat.

“People are holding out hope,” Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors told AFP, although that optimism may prove short lived.

“If the trade wars go away or dissipates, clearly you have a healthier economic environment,” she said. “But you need some concrete actions for this to have long term impact.”

In Milan, the FTSE MIB index gained almost 2.0 percent after Italian President Sergio Mattarella gave Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte a mandate to form a new government

Investors were mulling the significance of a fall in yields on 10-year US Treasurys, which recently dropped below that for two-year Treasury notes — widely viewed as a reliable recession indicator.

It comes against a backdrop of slowing global growth.

In foreign exchange, the pound was stable a day after it fell on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s shock decision to bring an end to the parliamentary year and not restart it until mid-October.

While he said the extended recess was to draw up a full legislative program, anti-Brexiters were fuming that it would cut short any time they could have to debate a plan to avert a no-deal exit from the EU on October 31, with some calling it a “coup.”

Johnson could face a vote of no confidence, which could lead to a British general election and continued uncertainty for the already struggling economy.

The euro fell back as incoming European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde signaled that she would stick with Mario Draghi’s controversial expansionary monetary policy that has propped up the eurozone economy amid growing risks to growth.

– Key figures around 2100 GMT –

New York – Dow: UP 1.3 percent at 26,362.25 (close)

New York – S&P 500: UP 1.3 percent at 2,924.58 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: UP 1.5 percent at 7,973.39 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 1.0 percent at 7,184.32 points (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.2 percent at 11,838.88 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.5 percent at 5,449.97 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.4 percent at 3,411.33 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 20,460.93 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.3 percent at 25,703.50 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,890.92 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2182 from $1.2213 at 2100 GMT

Euro/pound: UP at 90.76 pence from 90.68 pence

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1057 from $1.1076

Dollar/yen: UP at 106.51 yen from 106.14 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 59 cents at $61.08 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 93 cents at $56.71 per barrel