Wall Street hits new records despite mixed signals on trade

NEW YORK (AFP) – US stocks forged higher Friday (Nov 8) and closed with new records for the second straight day despite being buffeted by fast-changing news in the US-China trade war.

President Donald Trump on Friday morning contradicted earlier claims by the Chinese government, saying he had not agreed to roll back tariffs as part of a partial trade deal the two sides are negotiating.

After spending much of the day in the red, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average squeaked into positive territory, closing a fraction above Thursday's record close at 27,681.24.

The broader S&P 500 rose 0.3 per cent to end the week at 3,092.95 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.5 per cent, closing at 8,475.31.

All three indices notched gains for the week, with the Nasdaq rising for the sixth week in a row, its longest winning streak since the March-May period.

Global investors have been cheered in recent days by hope of a de-escalation in the US-China trade war.

"They would like to have a rollback. I haven't agreed to anything," Trump told reporters at the White House.

"China would like to get somewhat of a rollback, not a complete rollback, because they know I won't do it."

China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that both sides had "agreed to roll back the additional tariffs in stages as progress is made towards a (final) agreement."

The two sides have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade, weighing on economic growth.

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