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US: Stocks rally as Trump claims China wants to talk trade

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[NEW YORK] US stocks snapped higher on Monday morning, erasing some of the prior week's gloom as investors struggled to discern the direction of the US-China trade war.

Attending the G7 economic forum in France, President Donald Trump said China wanted to resume negotiations - marking a possible pause in last week's spiraling escalations that had hit Wall Street in the face - but Chinese officials disputed there had been any calls.

"We'll be getting back to the table," Mr Trump told reporters. "They want to make a deal."

About 15 minutes into the day's trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.8 per cent at 25,827.62.

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The broader S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 2,867.32 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.9 per cent to 7,817.50.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said the trade news "leaves everyone guessing and hoping that some good will come of it."

"It's a real headline mess when it comes to the trade talks, which is perhaps why the trading action is getting increasingly messy," he wrote.

Among individual companies, US biopharmaceutical Amgen was up 1.6 per cent after agreeing to acquire global rights to psoriasis drug Otezla from Celgene for US$13.4 billion in a move tied to the latter's merger with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

US orders for durable goods rose faster than expected but this was due to a recovery in sales at crisis-stricken Boeing which masked general weakness in the manufacturing sector and business investment, shaken up by the trade war.

 

AFP