US pre-open: Stocks point to higher start as US and China agree to roll back tariffs
US futures had stocks moving to the upside at the start of trading on Thursday as Beijing and Washington agreed to roll back tariffs on each other's goods as part of an effort to secure a phase-one trade deal.
As of 1250 BST, Dow futures were up 0.52%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures had the indices opening 0.40% and 0.48% stronger, respectively.
The Dow closed flat on Wednesday after a report indicated that an initial trade deal between the pair could be delayed until December.
However, risk sentiment got a boost on Thursday after a spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce said that top negotiators from both sides had held serious, constructive discussions and agreed to remove additional tariffs in phases as progress was made on the agreement.
"If China, US reach a phase-one deal, both sides should roll back existing additional tariffs in the same proportion simultaneously based on the content of the agreement, which is an important condition for reaching the agreement," said spokesman Gao Feng.
IG analyst Josh Mahony said: "While a final deal could be signed in December rather than November, the plan to begin rolling back tariffs across the phases does show that we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
"Unlike the promise of higher agricultural purchases by the Chinese, a rollback in tariffs from each side would be much more positive for the wider economy and less likely to falter due to non-conformity of the agreement."
Elsewhere, market participants will be keeping a close eye on the Bank of England today, with Mark Carney wrapping up a two-week period that saw central bank rate decisions released on a regular basis.
On the data front, weekly jobless claims will be posted at 1330 BST, while consumer credit figures for September will follow at 2000 BST.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will deliver a speech at 1805 BST.
In corporate news, Discovery, Johnson Controls, Ralph Lauren, Booking, Disney and Activision will all publish their latest quarterly earnings figures throughout the course of the day.