Word that high-level U.S.-China trade talks were going well lifted stocks at the open Friday as traders also took heart in positive signals over a possible deal to smooth Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened sharply higher, up more than 300 points to 26,811. The S&P 500 added a quick 33 points to 2,971 and the Nasdaq Composite shot up 100 points to 8,051.
President Trump was scheduled to meet with Vice Premier Liu He, China’s chief trade negotiator, at the end of Friday’s negotiating session between Liu and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Trump said the first day of talks went “very well,” despite no expectations for a major breakthrough. A partial accord would, however, stave off a planned increase in tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods scheduled to take effect Oct. 15.
“Existing tariffs will continue to work their way through the system and disrupt global supply chains as we move into 2020 unless we reach a more far-reaching agreement [with China], said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton.
The U.S. has been pushing China on industrial reforms, subsidies and technological issues.
“China won’t include forced IP transfers and other 21st century IP infractions and subsidized industries in the talks while the worst IP offenders operate as domestic companies in China outside the reach of tariffs,” Swonk added.
In Europe, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier reportedly got the green light from the 27 remaining members in the EU to open intensive negotiations with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline for the United Kingdom’s divorce from the economic alliance.
European Council President Donald Tusk welcomed developments emerging from Thursday’s meeting between Johnson and his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, after which Varadkar said the two had developed a “pathway” to Brexit. Tusk said, however, he still was awaiting “a solution that would work for all.”
The key sticking point is how to keep the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland open.
Oil futures jumped Friday following an attack on an Iranian tanker near Saudi Arabia.
Stocks were higher on global markets.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 2.34% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 1.15% and the Shanghai Composite added 0.88%. Australia’s S&P/ASX added 0.91%.
In early afternoon trading in Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.51%, while the German Dax surged 1.97% and the French CAC 40 added 1.07%. The Stoxx Europe 600 was up 1.61%.
The British pound was up 1.96 cents to $1.2641 while the euro inched up 0.53cents to $1.1058. The dollar index was off 0.38%.
Crude oil futures added 276 cents to $53.83 a barrel while Brent crude was up 46 cents to $59.56. Gold and silver were lower.