Global Markets - Stocks rise on trade optimism, pound strengthens
By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global stock indexes rose on Thursday as optimism over a resolution to the trade war between the United States and China lifted sentiment, while sterling strengthened amid hopes of a second referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a tariff rollback during trade discussions scheduled for Jan.
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global stock indexes rose on Thursday as optimism over a resolution to the trade war between the United States and China lifted sentiment, while sterling strengthened amid hopes of a second referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a tariff rollback during trade discussions scheduled for Jan. 30, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the internal deliberations.
U.S. stocks rallied following the report, but pared some of those gains after a Treasury spokesperson told CNBC that Mnuchin had not made any such recommendations.
"The market wants to hear some positive trade news. The way it's acted since that Christmas Eve low, the market is expecting to hear at least something incrementally positive," said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis.
S&P 500 industrials <.SPLRCI>, which have been sensitive to trade developments, ended up 1.7 percent, among the biggest gains of S&P sectors.
Also boosting the industrials were shares of defense contractors Northrop Grumman Corp
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 162.94 points, or 0.67 percent, to 24,370.1, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 19.86 points, or 0.76 percent, to 2,635.96 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 49.77 points, or 0.71 percent, to 7,084.46.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> rose 0.04 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.40 percent.
Earlier in the day, some investors took heart from Beijing's confirmation that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will head to the United States on Jan. 30 for more negotiations with Washington. Recent talks to resolve a protracted trade battle between the U.S. and China brought little progress.
Adding to concerns was legislation introduced by U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday that would ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei
The British pound rose to a two-month high against the euro
Prime Minister Theresa May has been meeting lawmakers from all parties in an attempt to find a way out of an impasse over how Britain should leave the EU, after May's own plan was rejected by parliament on Tuesday.
While she has repeatedly rejected the idea of a second referendum, a vocal campaign in favor of holding a new vote has the support of some lawmakers.
U.S. Treasury yields rose with the benchmark 10-year yield reaching near three-week highs as better-than-expected economic data and hopes for progress in U.S.-China trade talks diminished safe-haven demand for government debt.
Benchmark 10-year notes
Oil prices steadied, boosted by a rebound in U.S. equities and news that OPEC sharply curtailed production in December, after earlier losses on fears about surging U.S. crude output and weakening global demand.
Brent crude oil futures
Asia stock markets https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
Asia-Pacific valuations https://tmsnrt.rs/2Dr2BQA
The chips (makers) are down https://tmsnrt.rs/2HieTMX
World FX rates in 2019 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
(Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru, Kate Duguid, Laila Kearney and April Joyner in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Phil Berlowitz)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.