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Global Stocks Rise With U.S.-China Trade Talks in Focus

Global stocks mostly rose Monday as traders await the upcoming round of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.

The Stoxx Europe 600 advanced 0.6%, lifted by the performance of shares in commodity and technology companies.

Asian stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite rallying after reopening for the Lunar New Year holiday and indexes in Australia and India ending lower.

Investors are set for the latest round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, with U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expected to arrive in the Chinese capital sometime on Monday.

The talks could spark fresh volatility for financial markets. Stocks rose in January on fresh hopes that the U.S. and China would be able to carve out a trade deal, but some of that optimism appeared to lose steam last week as investors parsed a stream of downbeat economic data.

“There’s this belief that this is going to very quickly resolve itself, and I think the reality is that there are very complicated long-term issues on the trade relationship between the two most powerful economies around the world,” said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse.

While economic growth in the U.S. still looks relatively steady, Mr. Golub cautioned that an unexpected breakdown in trade talks remain a major market risk.

“I’m actually quite optimistic about the broad backdrop — but that doesn’t mean that there’s no risk,” he said.

Corporate news drove swings in individual stocks on Monday.

Gold miner Acacia Mining jumped 2% after breaking out to a profit in 2018, while Portuguese natural gas firm Galp Energia fell 0.7% after reporting worse-than-expected revenue for 2018.

Later Monday, investors are expected to get earnings reports from Loews and Restaurant Brands, the parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes.

U.S. stock futures pointed to a subdued opening, with S&P 500 futures inching down less than 0.1% and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures losing 0.1%. Changes in futures don’t necessarily reflect moves after the opening bell.

Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite jumped 1.4% to a two-month high, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was shut for a holiday and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6%.

In commodities, Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 0.4% to $61.89 a barrel, chipping away at some of its previous session’s gains.

Source: Dow Jones

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