London Markets: London stocks follow global equities higher as trade optimism persists

London stocks were climbing Wednesday, driven by growing optimism over a trade deal between the U.S. and China that kept global stocks on a positive path.

How are markets performing?

The FTSE 100 UKX, +0.87% rose 0.8% to 7,189.67 after closing flat on Monday.

Meanwhile, the pound GBPUSD, +0.1552% eased to $1.2885 from $1.2890 late in New York on Tuesday.

Read: Dollar holds gains after U.S. inflation data for January

What’s driving the markets?

On the economic front, data showed the U.K’.s. inflation rate fell to 1.8% in January, down from 2.1% in December and below the Bank of England’s 2% target.

But equities in London and around the world are being driven largely out of events in the U.S. lately, among them hopes the U.S. will avoid another damaging partial government shutdown.

Perhaps even bigger for global markets is U.S-China trade-deal optimism. Sparking fresh hopes for an agreement to the long-running saga, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would allow for flexibility on the timeline for a deal with China if an agreement looks close. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to meet key members of the U.S. delegation on Friday, sources told the South China Morning Post.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are expected to attend high-level trade discussions in Beijing — talks have been going on for three days.

What shares were active?

Miners were the best performing sector, with Antofagasta PLC ANTO, +3.27% Glencore PLC GLEN, +2.74% GLEN, +2.74%  and Anglo American PLC AAL, +2.32%  all up over 2%.

Smurfit Kappa Group PLC SKG, +3.97%  was leading the gainers after the packaging firm posted a loss but reported higher revenue. Rival DS Smith PLC SMDS, +4.17%  jumped 4.2%.

Home builders rose, with Barratt Developments PLC BDEV, +0.50%  up 0.9% and Persimmon PLC PSN, +1.80% up over 2%.

Major oil companies rose alongside energy prices, with BP PLC BP, +0.70% BP., +0.92%  and Royal Dutch Shell Group RDS.A, +0.18% RDSA, +0.68%  rising just under 1% each.

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