➤ Equities rise as markets cheer progress in Sino-US trade talks.
➤ Euro against dollar unchanged, while Italy's new 2019 budget eases European Commission concerns.
➤ Brent crude oil rallies 2%.
Global equity markets gained on the last trading of December after a previously tumultuous week of trading though questions over the U.S. government shutdown and other White House moves remain.
U.S. futures point to a higher Wall Street opening, with the S&P 500 index and tech-heavy Nasdaq due to rise.
Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump hailed progress made in trade talks with China following a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping. China's foreign ministry said Xi hoped to strike an agreement soon that would benefit both parties.
However, the partial government shutdown continues in the U.S. with Trump having threatened to close the entire border with Mexico if Congress does not approve funding for the construction of a wall between the two countries.
Both the Euronext 100 and France's CAC 40 rose nearly 0.90% as of 5:05 a.m. ET and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.23%. Trading in Europe closed early to mark the year. Germany's DAX, which rose 1.71% Dec. 28, was closed Dec. 31.
In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.34%, in a half-day trading session. The Shanghai Composite Index, down 25% for the year, and Japan's Nikkei 225, down 12% in 2018, were closed Dec. 31. Japanese equity markets will reopen Jan. 4, 2019.
In bond markets, U.S. 10-year yields dropped nearly four basis points as of 5:26 a.m. ET.
In commodities, Brent crude oil rallied 2% as of 5:07 a.m. ET, while gold gained nearly 0.10%.
Among currencies, sterling jumped nearly 0.30% against the dollar at around 5:20 a.m. ET. The euro was little changed, as Italy's parliament passed a 2019 budget Dec. 29, cutting its 2019 headline deficit target to 2.04% of GDP from 2.4% and dodging a potential disciplinary procedure from the European Commission.
The Japanese yen was up 0.15% against the dollar.
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