NEW YORK — Stocks gained on Wednesday on a report that China could yet agree to a partial trade deal with the United States despite recent tensions, while the prospect of a last-minute Brexit agreement between the European Union and Britain seemed as remote as ever.
Sterling was little changed against the dollar after losing nearly 1% over the past two sessions.
China is still open to agreeing to a partial trade deal, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, despite the recent U.S. blacklisting of Chinese technology firms and reports on visa restrictions from both sides.
“You don’t want to ignore headlines, but at the same time each headline seems to say the same thing – that both sides want to see something happen and both sides are encouraged that something may happen,” said Michael Lorizio, senior fixed income trader at Manulife Investment Management in Boston.
Markets have been wobbly this month on more evidence that the U.S.-China conflict over trade is increasingly damaging the global economy. Stocks have been particularly sensitive to headlines regarding trade.
“Investors are hoping for an interim deal, they aren’t expecting anything big, but are cautiously optimistic,” said Michael Geraghty, equity strategist at Cornerstone Capital Group.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 208.58 points, or 0.8%, to 26,372.62, the S&P 500 gained 29.3 points, or 1.01%, to 2,922.36 and the Nasdaq Composite added 89.72 points, or 1.15%, to 7,913.49.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.42% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.60%.
Emerging market stocks lost 0.03%, while Nikkei futures rose 1.2%.
Talks between the European Union and Britain over an agreement regarding London’s departure from the EU on Oct. 31 appeared to be going nowhere.
British lawmakers have voted to force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to