Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Image Credit: Reuters

London. Hopes for progress in Sino-U. S. trade talks and expectations of policy stimulus from central banks lifted world stocks to 2 1/2- month highs on Monday, though European gains were held back by concern over the outlook for automakers.

MSCI’s All-Country World Index rose 0.4 per cent after Japan’s Nikkei closed up 1.8 per cent at its high for the year and MSCI’s index of Asian equities rose almost 1 per cent. Shanghai blue chips surged 2.7 per cent to their highest finish in more than six months.

Wall Street futures suggested that US stocks would maintain last week’s gains when trading starts again on Tuesday, after Monday’s holiday.

The Dow and the Nasdaq had boasted eight consecutive weeks of gains on wagers the United States and China can resolve their protracted trade dispute.

Negotiations will resume this week, with US President Donald Trump saying he may extend a March 1 deadline for a deal.

Both sides reported progress at last week’s talks in Beijing.