Stocks climbed on optimism about the outlook for a trade agreement between the U.S. and China and after Europe’s central bank announced a fresh round of stimulus.

Equities were lifted by a report that American officials have discussed offering a limited trade agreement to China, shaking off a conflicting information from a senior official who was quoted as saying there was no interim deal on the table.

That came after the European Central Bank cut its main rate to minus 0.5% and said it would buy 20 billion euros ($22 billion) of bonds a month. The euro gained and bonds were mixed.

Any steps by China and the U.S. to ease tensions ahead of face-to-face talks in Washington in the coming weeks would support sentiment as investors await monetary decisions from more of the world’s major central banks.

The ECB stimulus will run until shortly before the next rate increase, and President Mario Draghi painted a gloomy picture of the region’s economy at a press conference after the decision.

“The fact that they’re continuing to add stimulus is giving equity markets a little confidence here,” said Tony Bedikian, the head of global markets at Citizens Bank. On trade, “I don’t think we want to get our hopes up just yet.”

The Federal Reserve is due to meet next week as economic indicators give mixed signals about whether the record-long expansion will end soon. The dollar weakened.

Elsewhere, European equities edged higher. Turkey’s lira rallied after its policy makers cut interest rates by more than forecast. Oil fluctuated before turning lower as the International Energy Agency warned OPEC it faces a “daunting” surplus of crude in 2020.

Hong Kong equities bucked the advance in Asia, dragged lower by shares of the city’s exchange following a surprise takeover bid for its London counterpart.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index climbed 0.5% as of 2:08 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2%.
  • The Nikkei-225 Stock Average rose 0.8% for its eighth straight gain, the best streak in a year

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.3%.
  • The euro rose 0.6% to $1.1072.
  • The British pound rose 0.2% to $1.2345.
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.2% to 108.07 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 1.78%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield rose five basis points to -0.52%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield rose three basis points 0.67%.
  • Italy’s 10-year yield decreased 11 basis points to 0.86%.

Commodities

  • Gold added 0.1% to $1,498.33 an ounce.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 1.4% to $54.96 a barrel.
  • Silver fell 0.3% to $18.06 per ounce.



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