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US: Stocks end higher on partial trade deal, Dow +1.2%

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Wall Street stocks finished higher on Friday as US-China trade negotiations yielded a partial deal that included a halt to tariffs scheduled for next week.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished higher on Friday as US-China trade negotiations yielded a partial deal that included a halt to tariffs scheduled for next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 26,816.59, up 1.2 per cent but well below session peaks as initial details about the agreement emerged in the final moments of the session.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.1 per cent to 2,970.27, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.3 per cent to 8,057.04.

Analysts said the stock market's pullback in the final moments likely reflected disappointment that the interim agreement did not go further, and left in place existing tariffs.

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Market voices on:

The announcement "sounds a little more limited than we were hoping for," said FTN Financial's Chris Low. "Nevertheless it is really good news."

The pact, characterised by US officials as the first phase in negotiations, capped a rollercoaster week for stocks, with the market retreating early in the week on doubts about the talks, but reversing course midweek as the signs from both sides became more conciliatory.

Beijing and Washington have been at loggerheads for more than a year, with US President Donald Trump emphasising trade relations with China as a central tenet of his "America First" agenda.

Sectors with especially strong gains Friday included industrials, materials and technology.

The biggest winner in the Dow was Caterpillar, which has been seen as especially vulnerable in the trade war and finished 4.7 per cent higher. Apple and 3M also notched significant gains.

AFP