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US stocks rise amid trade hopes; sterling falls over PM's election threat

➤ S&P 500 ticks up as trade optimism continues.

UK lawmakers to vote on withdrawal agreement today.

➤ UK PM would seek election, withdraw bill if lawmakers delayed Brexit.

➤ EU says draft budgets from Italy, France could violate fiscal rules.

➤ Sovereign bonds rally.

Wall Street rose as companies continued to report results and trade optimism remained high. Sterling declined as much as 0.5% as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would seek an election and withdraw his Brexit bill if lawmakers voted to delay Brexit.

China Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said the world's two largest economies have made progress in trade talks and the two camps could resolve any issue as long as an element of respect is maintained, Reuters reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump said China has already started buying American farm products. Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News that the tariffs set to kick in toward the end of the year could be dropped if talks go well.

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% around 9:40 a.m. ET, having closed above 3,000 yesterday, a touch below the prior record level.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 rose 0.7%, while France's CAC 40 and German DAX were little changed.

UBS Group AG's shares reversed gains from earlier in the day and were trading 0.3% down after the Swiss lender said it will realign its investment banking business as it reported third-quarter profit that fell 16% year over year.

In Asia, the Shanghai SE Composite advanced 0.5% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2%. Japan's stock market was closed for a holiday.

The U.K. House of Commons is due to vote on Johnson's new Brexit deal Oct. 22, with the deadline to leave the EU fast approaching. If lawmakers approve what is called the second reading, they will immediately vote on a motion to ensure that the withdrawal agreement gets on the statute book by the Oct. 31 deadline.

Johnson said he would withdraw his bill and force a general election if lawmakers delayed Brexit. Sterling slipped 0.3% to $1.2924.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow yesterday blocked the government's request to hold a "meaningful vote," marking Johnson's second defeat in seeking a vote on his deal.

European Council President Donald Tusk said he was consulting EU leaders on how to respond to the U.K.'s request of extending Article 50.

The euro was down 0.1% versus the dollar, while the Japanese yen gained 0.1%.

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.1% after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looked set to win a second term but with a weakened mandate.

In the bond markets, the yield on 10-year Treasurys fell 3 basis points to 1.770%, while that on German Bunds with the same maturity lost 4 basis points to negative 0.376%.

The 10-year Italian bonds rallied, with yields falling 8 basis points to 0.904%, as the EU told Rome that its draft budget could breach the bloc's fiscal rules. The EU also sent similar letters to France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.

In commodities, Brent crude oil gained 1.1% to $59.62 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. Gold gained 0.2%.

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The day ahead:

10:30 a.m. ET — Bank of Canada business outlook survey

1 p.m. ET — U.S. Fed's Robert Kaplan speaks