Three days of face-to-face trade discussions between the United States and China have concluded in Beijing. The talks were initially scheduled for Jan. 7-8, but were extended for one more day amid signs the two superpowers were determined to ease solve their disagreements.
Futures put the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite Index, and the S&P 500 on track to open higher. As of 4:20 a.m. Easter Time, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were slightly higher, while Dow futures jumped 87 points, pointing to a higher open of 66 points.
Trade deal optimism also pushed stock markets in Asia to their highest level in three weeks on Wednesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shot up 2%, marking a four-week high for the index, while Japan’s Topix index ran up 1%.
The Shanghai Composite index was up 1.56% to 2,566.66 at midday break. Stocks of most Chinese automakers also ticked higher on news that the country plans to implement measures aimed at boosting domestic spending on home appliances and automobile products.
In Europe, all major stock markets also soared, led by the Stoxx Europe 600 that climbed 1% to 349.15 having ended Tuesday’s session at up 0.9%. The index’s tech sector jumped 1.4%, basic-resources stocks climbed 1.2%, and the auto sector rose 2.5%.
This was the first time the U.S. and China held direct trade negotiations since Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. Investors hope the two sides will strike a deal to end their prolonged trade dispute that triggered uncertainty across global financial markets last year.
Neither Washington nor Beijing has released official details of what was discussed during the meeting. However, Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday saying they were “going very well!” though he did not provide further information. Ted McKinney, U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs said he believes the discussions “went just fine.”
The Trump administration has time and again criticized China for making it hard for US products and services to compete fairly in the country. The President also wants China to stop forcing American companies to hand over their intellectual property.