Stocks rise on U.S.-China trade hope; oil prices soar

Crude oil is dispensed into a bottle in this illustration

Crude oil is dispensed into a bottle in this illustration

Another photo shows a wider view of dozens of officials from each country seated at three long tables facing each other and around the room's borders, significantly more people than those attending previous rounds of U.S.

Oil prices fell by about 1 percent on Thursday on swelling USA supply and amid a cautious reaction to trade talks between the United States and China, the world's two largest oil consumers, that finished without concrete details to ending their dispute.

USA treasury officials have made the case that market volatility is in part due to the tightening of United States monetary policy, and a result of the trade war with China.

Also Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing in a possible effort to co-ordinate with the North's only major ally ahead of a possible meeting with Trump.

United States stocks surged on Wednesday on optimism that the mid-level talks in Beijing would be followed up with discussions between higher-ranking U.S. and Chinese officials.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang held a news conference in Beijing after the conclusion of the negotiations. US and North Korean officials are believed to have met in Vietnam to discuss a location.

Productive talks could be a boon to the economies of both countries, which spent most of 2018 mired in a trade war that imposed hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on each other's goods.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed optimism on Monday, telling CNBC that "there's a very good chance that we'll get a reasonable settlement". Chinese officials say their companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

In a statement Wednesday night, the USTR said the meetings were part of a push to achieve "needed structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture".

The two governments have announced no details, but Asian stock markets rose on news of the decision to extend negotiations that originally were planned for two days.

The Latest on trade tensions between China and the U.S.

While the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude inventories shrank by 1.68 million barrels last week, the steepest drop since November, there were substantial increases in supplies of refined products such as gasoline. China retaliated with tariffs of its own.

Six months after Trump first slapped tariffs on Chinese goods, signs are growing that the trade war is exacting an economic and financial cost, increasing the incentive for both sides to end the conflict.

Stock markets were roiled last week after Apple (APPL) warned it will badly miss its quarterly sales forecast because of weaker growth in China amid the trade war. Following the economic summit, Vice Premier Liu He is expected to visit Washington, D.C., where he will meet with USA trade negotiators led by Robert Lighthizer.

Macy's announcement came as a surprise because investor expectations for the holiday season have been high.

But much work remains before the two economic powers climb down.

The two sides gave no indication what their next step will be.

He has publicly said he's eager to make a deal that benefits both sides while also stressing that China's slowing economy and falling stock market signal the country is more desperate than the USA for a speedy outcome.

China's foreign ministry on Monday confirmed that Wang would deliver a keynote speech at Davos, though didn't confirm any plans for him to meet Trump.

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