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Global stocks turn higher on renewed trade hopes

BEIJING – Global stock markets turned higher on Wednesday on hopes that negotiations toward a U.S.-China trade deal are proceeding despite tough rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Sentiment improved during European trading hours, with indexes and Wall Street futures pushing higher.

Trump said Tuesday that he has "no deadline" for a trade deal and doesn’t mind waiting until after next year’s presidential election to make one. While that pushed markets down, a subsequent report from Bloomberg News cited officials saying that the two sides are inching closer to a deal.

Investors hope for at least enough progress to stave off new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, including smartphones and laptops, scheduled to start Dec. 15.

Tensions flared last week after Trump signed legislation expressing U.S. support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.

“The trade war will be the key driver of sentiment in the immediate few weeks,” said DBS Group analysts in a report.

Germany’s DAX rose 1.1% to 13,125 while London’s FTSE 100 was steady at 7,151. France’s CAC 40 advanced 1.2% to 5,795.

On Wall Street, futures for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were 0.5% higher.

Negotiators have yet to agree on details of an interim deal Trump has called "Phase 1."

Investors also are weighing the potential for additional trade disputes.

On Tuesday, Trump proposed tariffs on $2.4 billion in French products in retaliation for a tax on global tech giants including Google, Amazon and Facebook. That follows a threat Monday to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum from Argentina and Brazil.

Earlier, in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index sank 1.1% to close at 23,135.23 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 1.3% to 26,062.56.

The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.2% to 2,878.13 and Seoul’s Kospi declined 0.7% to 2,068.89. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 1.6% to 6,606.50 and India’s Sensex lost 0.2% to 40,578.93.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 95 cents to $57.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 14 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.13 to $61.95 per barrel in London. It lost 10 cents the previous session.

The dollar rose to 108.68 Japanese yen from Tuesday’s 108.63 yen. The euro gained to $$1.1088 from 1.1081.