November 2, 2018 10:45 AM, EDT

Optimism Boosted on News of Trump-Xi Talks

Hong Kong Stock MarketKin Cheung/Associated Press

BANGKOK — Stock markets charged ahead Nov. 2 after President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, spoke by phone and reported progress in resolving trade tensions.

Trump tweeted that he spoke with Xi and that the two countries were making some progress in trade negotiations. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman told reporters the discussion was quite positive and that the two leaders were optimistic about resolving the dispute over technology that has resulted in both sides imposing penalty tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s exports. Meanwhile, Chinese state media said Xi has promised tax cuts and other help to China’s entrepreneurs in a renewed effort to revive the cooling, state-dominated economy.

The momentum in the markets will likely depend on the U.S. jobs report, which showed that employers added a stellar 250,000 jobs in October and raised average pay by the most in nearly a decade. At the same time, the unemployment rate remained at a five-decade low of 3.7%. The numbers are well above this year’s monthly average increase of 208,000 and leave the Federal Reserve on track to keep raising interest rates.