Global equities climb on hopeful trade talk vibes

The growing certainty of an easing in monetary policy helped boost stocks in Europe and on Wall Street

World stock markets advanced Friday as investors awaited what they hoped will be encouraging news from US-China trade talks in Washington, dealers said.

Europe's key equity markets were modestly higher at the close, building on earlier Asian gains.

Wall Street was also higher in the late New York morning as US economic concerns appeared to be eclipsed by hopes that high-level talks between the United States and China will seal a trade war truce.

"Global equities saw some modest gains... as investors await results from the Sino-US trade talks," said Oanda analyst Dean Popplewell.

"Will we get some concrete news or perhaps an announcement of an extension of the March 1 deadline for implementing further US tariffs?"

And with the March deadline approaching, US President Donald Trump will meet with China's top negotiator and Xi Jinping's top economics envoy, Liu He, on Friday.

"The market will continue to look for a memorandum of understanding between the two nations, a date and place of a potential summit between President Trump and China's President Xi, and an announcement if the March 1 deadline will be delayed," Briefing.com analysts wrote.

- No 'meaningful' deal? -

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) meanwhile forecast that the two sides would make "some progress" -- but were unlikely to clinch any "meaningful" deal.

"The likelihood that the US and China will make some progress in the ongoing trade talks has increased as a result of mounting domestic pressure in both economies," noted EIU global economist Cailin Birch in a report.

"Nonetheless, we do not expect a meaningful agreement, as the US and China enter into a strategic competition for economic -- and particularly technological -- dominance."

The EIU added that any deal would therefore only provide "temporary relief" from trade tensions.

Investors later Friday will be digesting remarks from several top Federal Reserve officials and a semi-annual Fed report on monetary policy.

- Key figures around 1640 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,178.60 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.3 percent at 11,457.70 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 5,215.85 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,270.55

New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 26,036.74

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.2 percent at 21,425.51 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.7 percent at 28,816.30 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.9 percent at 2,804.23 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1337 from $1.1336 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3058 from $1.3043

Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.84 pence from 86.92 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.75 yen from 110.70

Oil - Brent Crude: UP 18 cents at $67.25 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 53 cents at $57.49

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