US shares flat but iron ore surge set to push Aussie shares higher

Related Story: A mining disaster could spell the end of an iron ore giant — and deliver a windfall to Australia

Australian share futures show the local market is poised for gains, as a dramatic hump in iron ore prices offsets continued market jitters about trade in the US.

Market snapshot at 8:20am (AEDT):ASX SPI futures +0.3pc at 6,021, ASX 200 (Monday’s close) -0.2pc at 6,061AUD: 70.61 US cents, 54.91 British pence, 62.61 euro cents, 77.95 Japanese yen, $NZ1.05US: Dow Jones -0.2 pc at 25,053, S&P 500 0.0 pc at 2,710, Nasdaq +0.1 pc at 7,308Europe: FTSE 100 +0.8pc at 7,129, DAX +1.0pc at 11,015, CAC +1.1pc at 5,014, Euro Stoxx 50 1.0pc at 3,166Commodities: Brent crude -1.0pc at $US61.49/barrel, spot gold -0.4pc at $US1,308.18/ounce

US stocks trod water as investors waited for the latest high level trade talks between the US and China in Beijing.

China has expressed confidence about the talks but is also angry at a US Navy mission in the disputed South China Sea.

The US also said that the two countries could be closer to a trade agreement.

They are trying to reach a deal before the March 1 deadline for negotiations runs out, when US tariffs on $US200 billion ($283 billion) of Chinese imports will increase from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

However, US President Donald Trump said last week that he was not planning to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before the deadline.

Also the threat of another US Government shutdown weighed on investor confidence amid an impasse over Mr Trump’s plan to build a border wall between the US and Mexico.

US Democrat and Republican congressional leaders met to try and reach a deal by Friday’s deadline to avert another

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