Hopes for U.S.-China trade, soft Brexit boost shares

NEW YORK (Reuters) – World stocks climbed for a fifth session on Wednesday on optimism over U.S.-China trade talks and for a softer British exit from the European Union, while oil prices retreated after an unexpected rise in inventories.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

U.S. stocks climbed in early trading after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow had said on Tuesday that China and the United States expect to make more headway in trade talks this week. In addition, the Financial Times reported the two sides were drawing closer to a deal.

“What the market has certainly relied upon is that China is one of the last legs here to get solidified,” said Paul Springmeyer, managing director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management Private Client Reserve in Minneapolis.

Still, U.S. economic data kept gains on Wall Street in check, as a gauge of the labor market showed private employers added fewer jobs than anticipated in March while a separate report showed services sector activity slowed to a more than 1-1/2-year low, highlighting a loss of momentum in the economy.

“The underlying fundamentals certainly are still supportive of equities but needless to say the kind of slowdown in metrics and in growth across the globe as well seems to be taking hold somewhat,” said Springmeyer.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.9 points, or 0.15%, to 26,218.03, the S&P 500 gained 6.14 points, or 0.21%, to 2,873.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added 46.86 points, or 0.6%, to 7,895.55.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.55%.

Aside from trade optimism, European shares were lifted by data out of China that showed activity in its services sector hit a 14-month high and the latest plan by British Prime

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