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US markets end higher on trade optimism

The US markets settled higher on Friday amid continuing hopes for a trade deal between the US and China. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that Chinese negotiators will extend their visit to Washington in an effort to build on the progress made during this week's talks. Mnuchin said a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly under discussion for next month may depend on the outcome of the next few days of negotiations. Meanwhile, Trump said during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu that US and Chinese are making a lot of progress in the trade talks.

Trump said there was a very good chance the US and China could reach a long-term trade deal but at the same time said who knows whether a final agreement will be struck. According to private report which stated that China has committed to buying up to $1.2 trillion worth US goods, although the two sides remain far apart on issues concerning the forced transfer of intellectual property. Trump had recently suggested he could postpone an increase in tariffs set to take effect in early March if the trade talks continue to show signs of progress.

Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 181.18 points or 0.70 percent to 26031.81, Nasdaq gained 67.84 points or 0.91 percent to 7527.54 and S&P 500 was up by 17.79 points or 0.64 percent to 2792.67.

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