Global stocks surge on trade-war hopes after Wilbur Ross says talks are 'making good progress'

wilbur RossU.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrives at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrives at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

  • Global stocks soared on hopes for a trade deal on Monday after US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said talks were "making good progress."
  • According to Bloomberg, Ross said at a business forum that the US and China were "very far along."
  • Ross also made comments about US licenses to sell to Huawei and tariffs on automakers, helping lift stocks higher.
  • View Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The hopes of a possible trade deal between the US and China were lifted on Monday, after Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, said that trade war talks were "making good progress."

The positive comments lifted European stocks and US futures on Monday, sending Europe's benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 to a 20-month high. Carmakers were among stocks leading the rallies after Ross suggested the US may scrap auto tariffs.

Ross, who was speaking at business forum in Bangkok, said that the US and China were "very far along" in talks of an initial deal, according to Bloomberg.

"Our hope is that the negotiations we've been having ... will bear enough fruit that it may not be necessary" to put auto tariffs "fully into effect, may not even be necessary to put it partly in effect," Ross said, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg also said, citing Ross, that licenses are due "very shortly" that would allow US firms to sell components to Huawei.

Here's the roundup as of 7:49 am in New York:

  • Germany's DAX Index jumped 1.3% higher, led by automakers on the potential for dropped tariffs. The benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 was up 1%, as was France's CAC.
  • US futures underlying the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, and the Dow were all up at least 0.4%.
  • Asian stocks also rallied, with the Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite up at least 0.6%. Japan's Nikkei was the only major index posting a decline, of 0.3%.

The commerce secretary's comments came before a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien.

"There are concerns aplenty over the state of the world economy but hope springs eternal that a trade deal can be done," said Neil Wilson at Markets.com.

If talks progress, Trump and Xi will meet face to face this month, with Hawaii, Iowa and Alaska all among possible locations for the meeting, along with locations in China, according to Bloomberg.

Ross said in an interview on Sunday with Bloomberg: "We're in good shape, we're making good progress, and there's no natural reason why it couldn't be," Ross said in the interview. "But whether it will slip a little bit, who knows. It's always possible."

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