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US: Wall Street forges new records on trade optimism, Dow crosses 28,000 mark

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Hopes that a breakthrough is imminent in the US-China negotiations sent a buoyant Wall Street to fresh records on Friday, with all three major indices posting all-time highs.

[NEW YORK] Hopes that a breakthrough is imminent in the US-China negotiations sent a buoyant Wall Street to fresh records on Friday, with all three major indices posting all-time highs.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 28,000 level for the first time, rising 0.8 per cent to 28,004.89, its seventh record since the start of the month.

The broader S&P 500 added 0.8 per cent to close at 3,120.46, while the Nasdaq added 0.7, finishing at 8,540.83.

"The biggest driver to new highs was about trade, positive comments coming out of DC," particularly remarks by top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on the possible signing of a US-China trade deal, Bill Lynch of Hindsale Associates told AFP.

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Mr Kudlow's comments late Thursday helped set the tone for the day.

The two sides have made "enormous progress" on finalising the partial deal President Donald Trump announced last month, Mr Kudlow said, adding to American officials' positive signals in recent days.

However, Mr Kudlow said later Friday that any deal could end up being signed at the ministerial level.

Mr Trump said last month he expected to sign a formal deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping by this weekend at a regional economic summit in Chile, but the summit has since been canceled by the hosts.

Economic data on Friday also showed a rebound in consumer spending in October, despite some signs of weakness.

And the data outlined the continued struggles of the US manufacturing sector, which was hit hard by a nationwide strike at General Motors amid a general decline this year due to Mr Trump's trade confrontation with China.

AFP