Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, February 25:
1. Trump Delays U.S. Tariff Hike on Chinese Goods
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he would delay an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods that had been scheduled for Friday, citing "substantial progress" in U.S.-China trade talks over the weekend.
The president said in a series of tweets that progress had been made on a host of divisive issues, including intellectual property protection, technology transfers, agriculture, services and currency.
Trump also said that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to seal a deal if progress continued.
The developments mark the most significant progress yet toward ending an ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies.
Trump had planned to raise tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the U.S. if a deal between the world's two largest economies was not reached by Friday.
2. Tariff Respite Leads China into Bull Market
Shares in mainland China saw solid gains on the day, after President Trump delayed an increase in tariffs scheduled for March 1.
The Shanghai Composite surged 5.6%, its best one-day percentage gain since June 2015, to hit an eight-month peak. Shares are now up just over 20% from a Jan. 3 low, meeting the technical definition of a bull market. A speech by President Xi Jinping urging a greater role in the economy for finance also supported the move, lifting brokerage and banking stocks in particular.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei also gained, climbing around half a percent to its highest since mid-December.
The renewed trade optimism lifted markets across Europe as well, where the pan-European STOXX 600 hit its highest since Oct. 10. Autos and basic resources stocks led gains as the tariff reprieve triggered relief in the sectors considered most at risk from slower global growth.
3. Dow Futures Point to Triple-Digit Gains
U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open at the start of the trading week, with the Dow set for a triple-digit gain, as investors cheered positive signals around U.S.-China trade talks.
At 5:30AM ET (10:30 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures were up 138 points, or about 0.5%, the S&P 500 futures rose 11 points, or around 0.4%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 38 points, or roughly 0.5%.
In earnings, Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK), and Hertz Global (NYSE:HTZ) are among the companies due to publish their latest quarterly figures.
On the data front, the latest reading on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index is due at 8:30AM ET (13:30 GMT), followed by wholesale trade figures and a Dallas Fed manufacturing survey at 10AM ET (15:00 GMT).
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1% at 96.26.
4. Oil Prices Holds Near 2019 Highs
In commodities, oil prices held near their highest level for the year, supported by optimism that Washington and Beijing would soon resolve a series of trade disputes that have dragged on global economic growth.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $67.44 per barrel, up 20 cents, or about 0.3%, not far off the 2019 high of $67.73 hit on Friday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose 18 cents, or around 0.3%, to $57.42 per barrel, within sight of a three-month high of $57.81.
Read more: Commodities Week Ahead: Oil, Gold May See Mixed Fortunes On U.S.-China Deal: Barani Krishnan
5. Brexit Uncertainty Rises as May Delays Key Vote
With only 32 days until the U.K. is due to leave the European Union, Britain's government is considering different options, including possibly delaying Brexit, if parliament fails to approve Prime Minister Theresa May's deal by March 12.
The British premier on Sunday put off a vote in parliament on her Brexit deal to just 17 days before Britain's scheduled March 29 departure from the European Union, setting up a showdown this week with lawmakers.
Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn was among those who criticized the move to delay a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal, saying May was “recklessly running down the clock” near to the departure date.
Sterling was slightly higher at $1.3080.
-- Reuters contributed to this report