Increases on Wall Street kept a gauge of global stock markets near seven-week highs on Friday.

Gold prices climbed to near six-year highs and were on track for their best week in three years.

Central banks have dominated economic news this week, with the Federal Reserve signalling the potential for a US interest rate cut later this year and the European Central Bank hinting at stimulus measures.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.02 per cent, as Wall Street’s main indexes climbed in morning trading a day after the benchmark S&P 500 notched a record high.

US stocks picked up steam after a Wall Street Journal report said US Vice President Mike Pence will postpone his planned speech on China policy next week to avoid stoking additional tensions ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week.

Concerns about a trade war between the two countries undermining the global economy have clouded the outlook for markets.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 120.37 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 26,873.54, the S&P 500 gained 6.78 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 2,960.96 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.94 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 8,062.28.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.33 per cent.

Trump said he had aborted a military strike on Iran because such a response to Tehran’s downing of an unmanned US

surveillance drone would have caused a disproportionate loss of life.

Spot gold added 0.5 per cent to $1,394.31 an ounce, surpassing the key $1,400 level during the session.

“There is a perfect mix of ingredients for gold’s rush to the top a weak macroeconomic environment, low bond yields, soft dollar and rising geopolitical tensions,” said Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank.

Government bond yields in the United States and Europe edged higher but remained near record or multi-year lows after the dovish statements from the central banks.

Benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes last fell 18/32 in price to yield 2.0609 per cent, from 2.001 per cent late on Thursday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.1 per cent, with the euro up 0.27 per cent to $1.1321.

The yen rose to a five-month high versus the dollar during the session on growing tensions between Iran and the United States.