Stocks, dollar up on trade hopes; Wall Street set for fourth week gains

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major stock indexes rose worldwide on Friday and the dollar was on track for its first positive week this year, boosted by optimism that the trade conflict between the United States and China may come to an end.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Adding to strength in equities and supporting U.S. Treasury yields was data that showed U.S. manufacturing output increased the most in 10 months in December.

Wall Street was set for a fourth week of gains, with foreign trade-sensitive industrials .SPLRCI up 1.6 percent and leading sector gains for the S&P 500. The Philadelphia SE semiconductor index .SOX also rose, while Germany’s exporter-heavy DAX .GDAXI was up 2.3 percent.

The trade hopes followed a report on Thursday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was considering lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports. The Treasury denied Mnuchin had made any such recommendation.

“Usually these ‘rumors’ aren’t necessarily untrue, they just aren’t true yet, which generally means there is some progress going on but they just don’t want to tell anyone yet,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 242.89 points, or 1 percent, to 24,612.99, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 30.77 points, or 1.17 percent, to 2,666.73 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 84.89 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,169.35.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.85 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 1.17 percent.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States on Jan. 30 and 31 for the latest round of talks aimed at resolving the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Indicators released recently showed signs that the Chinese economy is losing momentum.

The dollar strengthened and was poised for its first weekly gain in five weeks.

The dollar index .DXY rose 0.24 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.27 percent to $1.1364.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 11/32 in price to yield 2.786 percent, compared with 2.747 percent late on Thursday.

Oil prices rose after an OPEC report showed that members’ production fell sharply last month.

Brent crude LCOc1 was last up $1.72, or up 2.81 percent, at $62.90 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 was last up $1.75, or up 3.36 percent, at $53.82 per barrel.

Additional reporting by Ritvik Carvalho in London and Medha Singh; editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Steve Orlofsky

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