World stocks scaled record highs on Friday and oil prices stayed buoyant in a holiday-shortened week, as optimism grew that a U.S.-China trade deal would soon be signed.
Traders returned from their Christmas and Boxing Day break to digest comments from Beijing that it was in close contact with Washington about an initial trade agreement. Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump had talked up a signing ceremony for the recently struck phase-one trade deal.
Rising to another record high, European shares were on course for their best year since the financial crisis. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2%, helped by gains in export-heavy German shares. The benchmark index has reached record highs for three sessions in a row.
The FTSE 100, set for its best run in three years, added 0.4%. Mining companies provided the biggest boost, with Glencore Plc and BHP Group Plc climbing about 2% each.
The positive tone was set in Asia. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan jumped 0.8% to 555.39, a level not seen since mid-2018. It is up 15.5% so far this year.
China's blue-chip was down 0.1%, although for the week the index was up 0.1%.
Profits at industrial companies in China in November grew at the fastest pace in eight months, breaking a three-month declining streak, as production and sales quickened.