Global stocks rise ahead of signing of US-China trade pact

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets rose Monday ahead of the signing of an interim U.S.-Chinese trade pact as investors shrugged off weaker-than-expected American jobs data.

London and Frankfurt rose in early trading while Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea finished higher. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Investors expressed little concern over Friday’s data showing American employers added fewer jobs than forecast in December. Concern over a potential U.S.-Iranian conflict faded.

Traders looked ahead to this week’s signing of the interim U.S.-Chinese trade deal, which they hope will be a step toward ending a tariff war that threatens to drag down global economic growth.

Markets start the week “on a cautiously optimistic tone” as investors look ahead for the possibility of further U.S.-China trade progress, Mizuho Bank said in a report.

The “Phase 1” agreement has helped ease market jitters, though economists warn it leaves major disputes unresolved and the outlook for negotiations is unclear.

“Thornier issues such as enforcement may come back to haunt further negotiation progress,” Mizhuo Bank warned.

Investors also were encouraged by President Donald Trump’s decision to resume a regular trade policy dialogue with Beijing that Washington pulled out of in July 2017.

London’s FTSE 100 opened 0.6% higher at 7,630.79 and Frankfurt’s DAX gained just under 0.1% to 13,494.39. France’s CAC 40 added 0.3% to 6,057.14.

On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.4%.

On Friday, U.S. stocks retreated from record highs after the Labor Department reported employers added 145,000 jobs in December, short of the 160,000 forecast. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite both lost 0.3% while the Dow ended down 0.5%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7% to 3,115.57 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.1% to 28,954.94. Seoul’s Kospi advanced 1% to 2,229.26.

Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.4% to 6,903.70 while India’s Sensex added 0.6% to 41,859.69. Taiwan advanced while Singapore and New Zealand retreated.

Under the “Phase 1” trade pact due to be signed Thursday, Washington postponed planned tariff hikes and Beijing agreed to buy more American farm exports.

Details have yet to be released. Economists warn key hurdles including Beijing’s insistence that Washington role back punitive tariffs on Chinese goods have yet to be resolved.

The chief American negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, said Beijing agreed to make changes to address U.S. complaints that it steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Chinese officials have yet to confirm that.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 2 cents to $59.02 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 52 cents on Friday to close at $59.04. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 5 cents to $64.93 per barrel in London. It declined 39 cents the previous session to $64.98.

CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 109.90 yen from Friday’s 109.46 yen. The euro declined to $1.1119 from $1.1123.