World shares gain as investors await news on China-U.S. trade

Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press
Published Friday, March 15, 2019 1:01AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 15, 2019 5:50AM EDT

BANGKOK — Shares rose Friday in Europe and Asia after a day of lacklustre trading on Wall Street.

Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.5 per cent after Parliament voted, following weeks of political gridlock, to try to delay the United Kingdom’s split from the European Union, a move that will likely avert a chaotic withdrawal on the scheduled exit date of March 29.

Power to approve or reject the extension lies with the EU, which has signalled that it will only allow a delay if Britain either approves a divorce deal or makes a fundamental shift in its approach to Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to ask EU leaders for an extension at a March 21-22 summit of the bloc in Brussels.

Germany’s DAX edged 0.1 per cent higher to 11,596.98 and the CAC 40 in France added 0.2 per cent to 5358.27. Wall Street looked set for gains, with the future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.2 per cent at 25,800 and that for the S&P 500 also up 0.2 per cent, at 2,818.00.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 0.8 per cent to 21,450.85 as the Bank of Japan ended a policy meeting by keeping its key interest rate at minus 0.1 per cent, maintaining its stance of extreme monetary easing and lavish stimulus.

Chinese shares surged as the annual session of its ceremonial congress ended with Premier Li Keqiang pledging support for the slowing economy.

Li said the country would cut fees and taxes, delivering help worth almost 2 trillion yen (about $300 billion) to companies, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

“We are going to cut value-added tax rates for manufacturing and other

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