AFP – Global stocks mostly rose on Thursday on more benign statements from the United States about trade and a batch of solid economic data and corporate earnings.
Investors took solace in reports from Wednesday that the Trump administration would hold off for six months on imposing tariffs on auto imports.
The gains also came after US data showed better-than-expected housing construction and a dip in US jobless claims, while Dow members Walmart and Cisco Systems both rallied after solid earnings reports.
Markets largely shrugged off President Donald Trump’s announcement effectively barring Chinese telecom giant Huawei from the US market, a move that prompted a warning from Beijing against further harming trade ties.
"The combination of easing trade tensions, upbeat domestic economic numbers, and bullish earnings have boosted investor sentiment," said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman.
Wall Street stocks rose for a third straight session, with the Dow gaining 0.8 percent to 25,862.68, only about 80 points below the close on May 10 prior to Monday’s selloff on US-China trade tensions.
Eurozone stock markets were up well over one percent by the close, with London not far behind, mostly thanks to a weak pound.
Oil prices rose against the background of high Saudi-Iran tensions ahead of an OPEC meeting that is to take stock of the cartel’s production cut deal.
– Pound is pressured –
The dollar was firmer against all its major rivals but the British pound suffered a particularly strong decline amid intense speculation that Prime Minister Theresa May will step down if her next attempt to get parliament to approve her Brexit deal fails, dealers said.
"The pound tumbles as Theresa May looks set to leave in June," said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.
"For markets this is ramping up the likeliness of a hard Brexit, as pushes for a more hardline Brexiteer to take over is raising fears that we could see the UK leave the EU without a deal in October," he said.
Boeing jumped 2.4 percent as it announced that it has completed a software upgrade on the 737 MAX, which has been grounded following two crashes. The aerospace giant will now work with regulators to win approval to return the jets to service.
But Tesla Motors fell 1.6 percent after the National Transportation Safety Board said its "Autopilot" software was engaged by a driver who died in a March crash in Florida.
The company also confirmed that its communications director was exiting the company, the latest example of turnover at the electric car maker.
– Key figures around 2100 GMT –
New York – Dow: UP 0.8 percent at 25,862.68 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.9 percent at 2,876.32 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 1.0 percent at 7,898.05 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.8 percent at 7,353.51 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.7 percent at 12,310.37 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.4 percent at 5,448.11 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.6 percent at 3,338.56 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 21,062.98 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: FLAT at 28,275.07 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 2,955.71 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1174 from $1.1201 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2798 from $1.2845
Dollar/yen: UP at 109.85 yen from 109.60 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: UP 85 cents at $72.62 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 85 cents at $62.87 per barrel