United States stocks close higher amid European Central Bank moves, data

US stocks edge higher as China eases trade tensions

US: Wall St opens higher on tariff delays, ECB stimulus

China on Wednesday exempted a basket of U.S. goods from its tariffs, while U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet he would delay a scheduled tariff hike by two weeks in October.

The S&P 500 opened higher by 8.15 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 3,009.08.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei index is now reporting 0.85% gains and shares in South Korea and Australia are adding at 0.80% and 0.35%, respectively.

Shares of Google parent Alphabet rose 1.2 per cent after Google reached a $US1.1 billion ($A1.6 billion) settlement with French authorities to resolve a fiscal fraud probe, and following a legal victory over German publishers over fee demands.

Separately, data on Thursday showed US underlying consumer prices in August recorded the largest annual gain in a year, while weekly jobless claims dropped to a five-month low.

Trump's delay of additional tariffs on Chinese goods comes one day after China said it would exempt 16 types of USA products from import tariffs. The Dow also closed above 27,000 on Wednesday for the first time since July 30 while the S&P 500 broke above 3,000 for the first time since July 31. Chinese importers then asked US suppliers for prices for soybeans, pork and other farm goods.

All the major indexes hit a session high on a report that the Trump administration was considering an interim deal with China but quickly pared gains, after CNBC said a senior White House official denied the report. The move raised hopes of a thaw in trade frictions between the world's two largest economies.

The reason? The trade war has begun to take its toll economically on both economies.

The S&P index recorded 39 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 79 new highs and 20 new lows.

Chipmaker Intel gained 0.4%, while Advanced Micro Devices rose 1.5%.

Energy stocks fell 0.44% and were the only decliners among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors as oil prices dipped after a meeting of the OPEC+ alliance yielded no decision on deepening supply cuts.

Bonds fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.78% from 1.73% a day earlier.

Oracle Corp fell 3.7% after the software maker posted first-quarter revenue that missed Wall Street expectations and said Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd would be taking a medical leave.

Interest rates moved higher as investors shed the safety of bonds for stocks.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil gained 51 cents to $56.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Heating oil declined 1 cent to $1.89 per gallon.

Gold rose $4.30 to $1,498.70 per ounce, silver rose 1 cent to $18.04 per ounce and copper rose 2 cents to $2.62 per pound.

With this slight improvement in conditions for the US-China trade issue, coupled with the anticipation of the suite of stimulus from the series of central banks, Asia markets are expected to be fired up into the Thursday trading day.

The euro held steady at $1.1013 but traded near a one-week low.

ECB announces fresh stimulus as eurozone economy falters
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