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China-US trade hopes lift stocks as oil prices surge

NEW YORK: Global stocks pushed higher Wednesday on renewed optimism over talks to resolve the China-US trade war, while oil prices surged after Saudi Arabia confirmed it was on track to trim crude exports.

Europe’s major stock markets followed Asian exchanges higher, with Frankfurt and Paris both ending day 0.8 percent higher. London rose 0.7 percent.

Wall Street also had a solid day, with major indices rising for a fourth straight session.

Gains in the US moderated somewhat in the final 40 minutes of trading after talks to end the US government shutdown between President Donald Trump and congressional Democratic leaders broke down. But the S&P 500 still finished 0.4 percent higher.

“Stocks were extremely oversold,” said Bill Lynch of Hinsdale Associates. “There’s optimism today that the market can continue to be strong.”

Brent crude oil pushed above $61 per barrel, with OPEC cutting output and concerns easing over weak demand growth.

The dollar, meanwhile, sank to its lowest level against the euro since October as Federal Reserve meeting minutes, and statements from Fed officials, made clear the US central bank was in no hurry to hike interest rates again soon.

The dollar also declined against the British pound, despite lingering uncertainty over Brexit.

On Wednesday, in a setback to Theresa May, British lawmakers voted to force the prime minister to quickly set out an alternative plan for Brexit if she loses a crucial vote on her EU withdrawal deal next week.



M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.