U.S. stocks opened mostly higher Friday as China indicated it would exempt U.S. soybeans, pork and other agricultural imports from retaliatory tariffs ahead of the next round of trade talks.
At the open, the Dow Jones Industrial average added 55 points or 2.1% while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.15% and the S&P 500 increased 0.05%.
High-level U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are scheduled to meet in Washington in early October following lower-level meetings this month. China’s move Friday followed one earlier this week exempting 16 U.S. products from the tariffs and word President Trump would delay the next round of U.S. tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods for two weeks to give negotiators room to maneuver.
China is said to be hoping to narrow the scope of the negotiations, which broke down in May over national security issues.
Chinese exports to the U.S. fell 7% last year as a result of the trade dispute, the U.S. China Business Council reported.
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) rejected a $36.6 billion takeover bid from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, citing “fundamental concerns.” The deal was contingent on the LSE terminating its effort to buy financial information company Refinitive for $14.5 billion. The LSE said it was concerned about the Hong Kong exchange’s long-term future given the unrest in the territory.
The trade signals coupled with the European Central Banks decision Thursday to lower interest rates and engage in a new round of bond-buying sent global markets mostly higher Friday.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Heng Seng index closed up 0.98%, while the Nikkei 225 added 1.05% and China’s Shanghai Composite increased 0.75%.
In Europe, Brexit woes and the LSE’s rejection of an unsolicited takeover bid weighed on the London FTSE, sending it 0.1% lower in early afternoon trading while the pound gained 0.94%. The German DAX was 0.4% higher and the French CAC added 0.23%.
Crude oil futures were 0.71% higher while gold futures were up and silver was off.