Markets tell themselves trade dispute will turn out OK

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Global stock markets rebounded Thursday from sharp losses triggered by escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China — the world’s two largest economies — as traders banked on conciliatory statements from U.S. officials.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 surged 1.3 percent to 7,124 and Germany’s DAX jumped 1.9 percent to 12,181. France’s CAC 40 advanced 1.8 percent to 5,234. Futures markets were pointing to a solid opening on Wall Street — Dow futures rose 0.2 percent while S&P futures gained 0.4 percent.

TRADE TALK: After an initial jolt of fear brought on by China’s announcement of plans for tariff hikes in response to U.S. measures, investors are anticipating the two sides will work toward negotiations. President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, suggested the U.S. tariffs won’t be implemented if China lowers barriers to trade.

ANALYST’S TAKE: Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at foreign exchange dealer OANDA, advised caution despite the rebound: “The reality is that a trade war remains a real possibility. U.S. President Donald Trump is looking to pick a fight with the world’s second largest economy, a fight he believes is easy to win, and China is willing to go toe to toe with the U.S. even if it means inflicting harm at home. It’s hard to see how anyone wins in this but investors currently, despite the declines we’ve seen, are expressing confidence that a solution will be found before a full blown trade war erupts.”

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 1.5 percent to 21,645.42 and South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.2 percent to 2,437.52. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.5 percent to 5,788.80. Stocks in Singapore surged and markets in other Southeast Asian countries were also higher. Markets in mainland China and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents cent to $63.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 26 cents to $67.76 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.00 yen from 106.78 yen. The euro fell to $1.227 from $1.228.

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