US shares continue to edge higher on trade deal hopes

US stocks rose again on renewed hopes the US and China can resolve their trade war.

Market snapshot at 8:50 am (AEDT):ASX SPI futures -0.2pc at 6,008, ASX 200 (Wednesday’s close) -0.3pc at 6,064AUD: 70.86 US cents, 55.16 British pence, 62.90 euro cents, 78.70, Japanese yen, $NZ1.04US: Dow Jones +0.5pc at 25,543, S&P 500 +0.3pc at 2,753, Nasdaq +0.1pc at 7,420Europe: FTSE 100 +0.8pc at 7,191, DAX +0.4pc at 11,167, CAC +0.4pc at 5,074, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4pc at 3,202Commodities: Brent crude +2.1pc at $US62.72/barrel, spot gold -0.1pc at $US1,305.80/ounce

High-level talks between both countries are taking place in Beijing today and Friday, with reports Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet the US delegation tomorrow.

In Beijing, US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin was optimistic about the chance of an agreement and said he hoped for productive meetings.

Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump said he was prepared to give negotiators more time if they were close to a deal by March 1, when higher tariffs on $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports are due to kick in.

Mr Trump has also moved closer to supporting a congressional deal on border security aimed at averting another government shutdown.

The three major stock indices rose again following a strong rally yesterday.

However, the increases were limited by a tweet from Republican senator Marco Rubio announcing a bill to raise taxes on share buybacks to the same rate as taxes on dividends.

The S&P 500 was driven by oil firms, trade-related stocks and chipmakers with most sectors on the rise.

Markets were also boosted by inflation data that showed US consumer prices were unchanged for the third month in a row.

The US Labor Department said the consumer price index rose 1.6 per cent over the

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