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Global stocks inched higher on Thursday amid investors’ optimism on US-China trade talks

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Global stocks inched higher on Thursday amid news that Chinese authorities have made unprecedented concessions in their trade talks with the US on a number of issues, including the forced transfer of technology.

Thus, the moods of investors improved, which gives impetus to risk sentiment on the background of recession fears and bad economic data. The Sino-American trade talks continue today with a new stage of talks between US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin with the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He.

Meanwhile, the topic for Brexit is still in the spotlight. The British Prime Minister Theresa May proposed to resign, trying to win support for her deal for Brexit, which was twice rejected by the parliament. The MPs have taken control of the political process in the meantime, trying to find a way out of the situation, but yesterday’s non-binding votes did not outline a clear perspective because none of the proposed options received support by the majority.

Asian markets recap

Most of the main stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific region ended trading session mostly with decreases after the yields on 10-year US Treasuries fell to their lowest level in more than one year.

Japanese blue-chip index Nikkei 225 wiped out 344.97 points, or 1.61%, to 21,033.76 points. The stocks of industrial company Fanuc fell by 1.32%. The shares of Sony Corp dropped by 1.93% despite the news that Tokyo-based company plans to combine its Xperia mobile business with TV, audio and camcorder operations in a single subdivision. The analysts are worried that through such integration the company will hide the loss of the mobile unit that has long been gasping in competition with Apple and Samsung Electronics.

In China, the continental index Shanghai Composite declined by 0.92% to 2,994.94 points. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng reported a slight growth of 0.03% to 28,736.65 points. The shares of China Construction Bank, which are traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, fell by about 1% after the company posted a decline in first-quarter earnings for the first time since 2015. Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE reported more than 10% growth after announcing an optimistic forecast for its first-quarter earnings.

In South Korea, the index Kospi wiped out 17.52 points, or 0.82%, to 2,128.10 points. The stocks of Samsung Electronics declined by 1.1%.

At the same time, the Australian index S&P ASX 200 rose 0.65% to 6,176.10 points.


European markets mid-session recap

German stocks edged higher amid the good news on Sino-American trade talks and hopes for a recent agreement between the two countries. DAX 30 is trading with an increase of 0.36% to 11,459.88 points at 10:45 GMT. The stocks of Bayer are down by almost 1% after a US jury orders Bayer to pay 81 Million USD in the second trial claiming that Roundup weedkiller caused cancer. However, the automotive giant Daimler is trading with an increase of 0.21%, while chemical company BASF is up by 1.26%. Among the biggest losers during the day is Deutsche Bank, which is down by 1.14%.

French stocks are on the rise with index CAC 40 trading with an increase of 0.12% to 5,307.74 points. The shares of automakers are moving lower with Renault trading down by 0.92%, while Peugeot losing 0.09%. The stocks of aircraft manufacturer Airbus are up by 0.9% at mid-session trading.

CAC 40

British stocks bounced on Thursday, helped by exporters after the pound fell following more bad Brexit news for Prime Minister Theresa May, while miners and tobacco firms also gained. The blue-chip index FTSE 100 is up by 0.60% to 7,239.55 points at 10:45 GMT. Tobacco giant Imperial Brands advanced 2.5% and British American Tobacco climbed 2%, with a trader citing rating upgrades by brokerage Citi on both stocks. Chemicals group Johnson Matthey added 2% after securing a site in Poland to produce ultra-high energy battery materials and a 10-year supply deal with Canada’s Nemaska Lithium.

Wall Street pre-session recap

The US stock index futures were slightly higher on Thursday morning, amid talks of progress in the contentious trade talks between the US and China.

At around 6:50 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a positive open of more than 20 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both marginally higher as well.

Investors will also be monitoring further data releases. US weekly jobless claims and real growth rates data are due at 8.30 a.m. ET.