➤ Wall Street jumps as Trump says 'very close' to trade deal with China.
➤ Lagarde pledges ECB strategic review.
➤ Sterling falls as Tories' lead was seen narrowing in run-up to Election Day.
Wall Street jumped after President Donald Trump said the U.S. was "very close" to clinching a trade deal with China. U.K. shares gained as polling continued in the country.
"Getting very close to a big deal with China," Trump tweeted Dec. 12. "They want it, and so do we!"
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 rose 0.5% each around 9:39 a.m. ET. The indexes closed higher yesterday after the Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged and signaled it may hold rates through 2020.
In trade news, China's commerce ministry previously said that Washington and Beijing continue to engage in trade discussion, ahead of the mid-December tariff hike deadline. Trump was reportedly due to meet his advisers today to discuss whether the new set of levies should be imposed or not.
Among European bourses, the FTSE 100 gained 0.8% while France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX slipped 0.1%.
While the Conservative Party is largely expected to top the charts in today's election, the possibility of a hung parliament cannot be ruled out, given the Tories' lead over Labour was seen narrowing in the run-up to Election Day.
A hung parliament could leave the Tories struggling to find a coalition partner, wrote Kallum Pickering, senior economist at Berenberg. That could mean another election, unless Labour could partner up with the Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats to form a coalition.
Separately, the European Central Bank new President Christine Lagarde pledged a strategic review of the bank's operations, after the central bank maintained its key rates at the first monetary policy meeting under Lagarde.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.3% while the Shanghai SE Composite lost 0.3%.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s shares surged another 10% at the Dec. 12 open, briefly surpassing $2 trillion in valuation. The shares closed at 36.80 riyals, up 4.6% on the prior close.
In currencies, the dollar index was flat.
Fed projections indicate that the next move is more likely to be a rate hike — but not until 2021. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he would look for a "persistent" and "significant" increase in inflation before raising rates.
Turkish lira gained 0.6% after Turkey's central bank slashed its key rate by more than expected as inflation expectations dimmed.
Sterling declined 0.2% and the euro was little changed against the dollar. Eurozone's industrial production declined more than expected in October from September.
The Japanese yen declined 0.3% as Japan reported an unexpected decline in core machine orders in October.
In the bond market, the yield on Treasurys gained 4 basis points to 1.837%, while that on German Bunds rose 3 basis points. Ten-year U.K. gilts were flat.
Among commodities, Brent crude gained 0.5% to $64.04 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange and gold rose 0.8%.
More from S&P Global Market Intelligence:
Boris Johnson, likened by some to Trump, may switch playbook as PM
UK general election puts Facebook's political ads policy to the test
Banks ramping up digital offerings to fend off fintech, big tech
Korean beauty brands draw investments from consumer goods players
The day ahead:
10:30 a.m. ET – U.S. EIA Natural Gas Report
4:30 p.m. ET – Fed Balance Sheet and Money Supply
6:50 p.m. ET – Japan Tankan Survey