LONDON: Stocks rose Tuesday as investors welcomed apparent moves by the United States and China to restart trade talks while oil prices slid following offer by US President Donald Trump to meet with his Iranian counterpart.
While technology stocks continued to suffer, overall Wall Street pushed higher following a Bloomberg News report that senior US and Chinese officials are seeking to restart negotiations to end an escalating trade war.
US tariffs on another $16 billion (13.7 billion euros) of Chinese imports are to take effect on Wednesday, following levies on $34 billion that took effect earlier this month against which China responded with tit-for-tat charges on US agricultural goods.
“Equity markets are in positive territory as trade tensions between the US and China are improving,” said analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK.
“Traders took this as a positive sign and were encouraged to snap up stocks on the back of it,” he said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 0.5 percent in late morning trading, as were the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite.
In Europe, London stocks closed 0.6 percent higher, boosted by strong second-quarter BP results.
Paris added 0.4 percent and Frankfurt edged 0.06 percent higher.
– A trillion-dollar Apple? –
Meanwhile, oil prices dropped after Trump seemed to jettison bellicose threats against Iran on Monday, saying in a dramatic about-face that he was willing to meet the country’s leaders without preconditions.
A volley of sabre-rattling tweets had raised tensions in oil markets, which are already concerned about supplies as US sanctions coming back into force in November aim to choke off Iranian oil exports.
Supply fears were also eased by an OPEC survey showing that output had increased.
“Recently, traders have been fearful about future supply given the impending sanctions on Iran, but they are happy to dump oil in light of the OPEC news,” said Madden at CMC Markets UK.
The main international benchmark, Brent crude, fell 92 cents while the main US benchmark, WTI, dropped $1.39.
Earlier, Asian equities traded mixed as the Bank of Japan tweaked its monetary policy in a bid to make its massive easing programme sustainable.
Tokyo’s key Nikkei index closed marginally higher after the BoJ announced it had revised downward its inflation forecasts while making minor changes to its ultra-loose monetary policy for the first time in nearly two years.
Meanwhile, shares in Apple were 0.1 percent higher in late morning trade as analysts wait for the tech giant to release its quarterly earnings figures after the market close.
While the iPhone maker would make history if the share price rises sufficiently to push its market capitalisation over the trillion-dollar mark, the results are also important for the tech sector.
Shares in a number of leading US technology stocks have taken a beating in recent days as investors fear the greater data regulation and privacy concerns could crimp future earnings.
“How things progress from here will rest on Apple’s results,” said analysts at London Capital Group.
“A miss in earnings from Apple will deepen the current tech sector selloff,” they added.
– Key figures at 1530 GMT –
New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.5 percent to 25,419.59 points
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 7,748.76 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.06 percent at 12,805.50 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 5,511.30 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 percent at 3,168.94
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.5 percent at 28,583.01 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.26 percent at 2,876.40 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.04 percent at 22,553.72 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1703 from $1.1706 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3114 from $1.3133
Dollar/yen: UP at 111.90 yen from 111.04 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN 92 cents at $74.63 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN $1.39 at $68.74