U.S. equities climbed to almost four-month highs, tracking gains in Europe and Asia, after President Donald Trump postponed the date for boosting tariffs on Chinese imports, taken as a sign of progress in the trade talks. Bonds fell and oil retreated. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to the highest levels since early November, while the trade headlines boosted carmakers in Europe, fueling an advance in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Treasuries and core European bonds slipped, while Italy’s securities advanced. General Electric shares soared after the company agreed to sell its bio-pharma business for a total consideration of $21.4 billion.
In Asia, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rallied the most since 2015 and the yuan strengthened after Trump said he will delay the March 1 trade deadline, and as comments from China President Xi Jinping suggested top officials will focus on growth rather than cracking down on leverage. Emerging-market currencies and shares advanced despite China’s state-run Xinhua news agency later publishing a commentary saying talks will be harder at the final stage.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.6 percent as of 11:27 a.m. New York time, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.9 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3 percent, reaching the highest level in almost 20 weeks. The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 1 percent, the sixth straight increase. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.8 percent, hitting the highest in more than 20 weeks with its sixth straight advance.