June 28: European and US stocks climbed on Friday as investors kept a watch on developments at a G20 summit in Japan, where US President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are due to hold key trade talks.
As heads of the world's 20 leading economies began their summit in Osaka, Trump said he was hopeful that Saturday's talks would be “productive”.
Global equities have enjoyed a largely positive couple of weeks on hopes for progress in the head-to-head meeting between the leaders of the world's top two economies, though the possibility of failure persists.
“Optimism has been limited at best,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, a global leader in online trading.
“The fact that the trade conflict has lasted this long sends a message that both sides are not rushing towards a deal, or are prepared to make significant concessions,” he added.
In Europe, both Paris and Frankfurt closed with solid gains, while London edged up 0.3 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow was up 0.2 percent in late morning trading.
The mood in Asia was more downbeat with Shanghai ending down 0.6 percent and Tokyo and Hong Kong each off 0.3 percent.
The dollar was down slightly against main rivals, while sterling did not react to official data confirming that Britain's Brexit-facing economy grew by 0.5 percent in the first quarter.
– 'Greatest threat' –
Saturday's Trump-Xi “meeting is hugely important as the trade war represents arguably the greatest threat to the global economy — especially if it is allowed to escalate further”, Craig Erlam, senior analyst at Oanda trading group, told AFP.
There remains some uncertainty about how the meeting will go, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Xi plans to demand the US reverse a ban on doing business with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei as a condition for kickstarting talks.
Trade war talks had stalled last month when Trump hiked tariffs on some Chinese goods.
“The Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 is front and centre,” said analyst Neil Wilson at Markets.com.
“I would think that for Trump and Xi to agree to delay the additional tariffs and for detailed talks to resume would be sufficient to leave investors happy that things are moving.”
Elsewhere Friday, world oil prices wobbled as dealers await next week's output meeting of OPEC and other top crude-producing nations, notably Russia.
OPEC is on red alert over escalating US-Iran tensions that have fuelled recent strong oil-price gains — but producers are likely to extend output cuts agreed late last year, according to analysts.
“The outcome of the OPEC meeting in Vienna on Monday seems to be a done deal,” noted City Index analyst Fiona Cincotta.
“Most of the major players have already indicated that the group plans to extend production cuts put in place in December and there has been no major dissenting voice among the oil producers.”
At the end of a volatile week for bitcoin, the cryptocurrency shot to $11,651, up more than $1,000 from Thursday.
– Key figures around 1535 GMT –
- London – FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,425.63 points (close)
- Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.8 percent at 5,538.97 (close)
- Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.0 percent at 12,398.80 (close)
- EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.0 percent at 3,476.93
- New York – Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 26,560.51
- Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 percent at 21,275.92 (close)
- Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 28,542.62 (close)
- Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.6 percent at 2,978.88 (close)
- Brent North Sea crude: DOWN cents at $66. per barrel
- West Texas Intermediate: DOWN cents at $59. per barrel
- Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1381 from $1.1369 at 2100 GMT
- Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2708 from $1.2674
- Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.78 yen from 107.79
- Gold: UP at $1,414.70 per ounce from $1,409.78
- Bitcoin – UP at $11,922.09 from $10,686.14