A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Friday on optimism about U.S.-Chinese talks on ending a tariff war.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Global stocks higher on US-China trade optimism

October 11, 2019 - 3:38 am

BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks followed Wall Street higher Friday on optimism about U.S.-Chinese talks on ending a tariff war, while oil prices spiked 2% after a rocket attack on an Iranian tanker.

Market benchmarks in Frankfurt, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo advanced, while London declined.

Sentiments were buoyed by the start of trade talks Thursday and President Donald Trump's plan to meet Beijing's envoy. Economists say a final settlement to the sprawling dispute is unlikely this year, but some traders are hoping for a cease-fire on further tariff hikes or other issues.

Markets have soared and fallen during 12 previous rounds of talks that produced no progress toward ending the costly fight over Beijing's trade surplus and technology ambitions.

"It looks like investors are positioning themselves for a potentially favorable outcome," said Fawad Razaqzada of Forex.com in a report. "Are investors setting themselves up for disappointment?"

In early trading, Germany's DAX added 1.1% to 12,302.60 and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.4% to 5,590.98. London's FTSE 100 shed 0.2% to 7,170.66.

On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.6% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9% to 2,973.66 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 1.2% to 21,798.87. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 2.4% to 26,320.72.

Seoul's Kospi rose 0.8% to 2,044.61 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.9% to 6,606.80. India's Sensex climbed 0.4% to 39,020.40 and markets in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also advanced.

On Wall Street, tech stocks and banks led a rally Thursday as the trade talks began in Washington.

Trump said he would meet Friday with Vice Premier Liu He, head of the Chinese delegation. Trump said China wants to make a deal.

The S&P 500, the Dow and the Nasdaq all advanced 0.6%.

The trade war has dragged on for 15 months, damaging both economies and raising fears of a global recession. Markets have been jittery this week as U.S.-Chinese tensions escalated.

Washington blacklisted a group of Chinese companies American officials said supplied technology used to repress Muslim ethnic minorities.

Beijing lashed out at American companies including Apple Inc. and the National Basketball Association over protests in Hong Kong.

The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of Chinese imports. Tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods are set to increase to 30% from 25% on Oct. 15, and new tariffs will kick in on another $160 billion on Dec. 15. That would extend import taxes to virtually everything China ships to the United States.

China has hit back by targeting about $120 billion in U.S. goods.

Meanwhile, crude prices jumped after Iranian officials reported two rockets struck an Iranian tanker traveling through the Red Sea off the Saudi coast. It came amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the United States.

Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $1.01 to $54.55 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 96 cents on Thursday to close at $53.55.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.13 to $60.23 per barrel in London. It added 88 cents the previous session to $59.10.

"The suggestion is that the missiles came from Saudi Arabia, which could represent an escalation in the region after a period of calm following the attack last month," said Craig Erlam of Oanda in a report.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Pete Pagano said authorities were "aware of reports of this incident" but declined to comment further.

The United States has accused Iran of attacking oil tankers at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, which Tehran denies.

In currency markets, the dollar declined to 107.91 yen from Thursday's 107.97 yen. The euro rose to $1.1014 from $1.1006.

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