Stocks hit one-month highs worldwide on Thursday as improved risk appetite led investors away from safe-haven assets such as bonds and gold on renewed hope for progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations and upbeat U.S. economic data.
The announcement that top negotiators from the United States and China will meet early October in Washington raised hopes of a possible resolution to the two countries’ brutal trade war that has wreaked havoc on the global economy.
“Optimism rules the day on the potential for some sort of trade deal between now and year-end,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “People had been pessimistic but moods can shift in a second, and they have.”
“We’re in a headline-driven market and the headlines over the last couple of days have been pretty positive,” Tuz added.
U.S. private payrolls increased in August at their fastest pace in four months, according to ADP, blowing past analyst estimates ahead of Friday’s more comprehensive jobs report from the Labor Department.
A separate report showed the U.S. services industry rebounded last month to its fastest expansion since February, bouncing back from a three-year low, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 446.4 points, or 1.69 per cent, to 26,801.87, the S&P 500 gained 41.5 points, or 1.41 per cent, to 2,979.28 and the Nasdaq Composite added 138.85 points, or 1.74 per cent, to 8,115.73.
In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 129 points or 0.8 per cent to 16,580.
European and emerging markets stocks jumped on hopes that next month’s U.S.-China trade talks would move the world’s two largest economies closer toward ending their cantankerous dispute, which has pushed major economies toward recession.
The tide of trade optimism also lifted oil prices, but the gain was capped by a report showing an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories.
U.S. crude, known as West Texas Intermediate, gained 1.88 per cent to $57.32 per barrel and Europe’s oil benchmark Brent was last at $61.94, up 2.04 per cent on the day.
Gold retreated from its six-year peak as investors shifted to riskier assets.