World over, stocks inched to a record high on Thursday after the United States and China signed a deal to defuse their 18-month trade war, which has weighed on global economic growth and hampered investments.
MSCI's broadest index of world stocks firmed 0.04% in early trade after closing at record level on Wednesday while its index on Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.10%.
Japan's Nikkei rose 0.14%, while Australian shares were 0.6% higher.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Wednesday signed a deal that will roll back some tariffs and see China boost purchases of US goods and services by $200 billion over two years.
The deal does not address structural economic issues that led to the trade conflict, and does not fully eliminate the tariffs while the $200 billion purchase targets look daunting to achieve. Yet it reduced uncertainties that have beset financial markets.
The S&P 500 closed at a record high of 3,289.3 points, up 0.19%, with gains fairly small after the market had rallied for months on hopes of a deal.
Back home, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos pledged $1 billion in new investments to help take small Indian businesses online, as the world’s richest man pulled out all the stops to woo merchants and the government amid regulatory scrutiny and protests by traders.
The investments, said Bezos in a chat with Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal, will touch as many as 10 million small and medium businesses, including manufacturers, resellers, local offline shops and brands.
London-based Hinduja group pulled out of the race for Jet Airways (India) Ltd, leaving only two contenders—South America’s Synergy Group and New Delhi-based Prudent ARC Ltd—in the fray to acquire the airline that shut operations in April last year, according to a Mint report.
Bharti Airtel Ltd's shares will be in focus as the company has raised $3 billion through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) and an overseas bond to repay government dues. The telco raised $2 billion through a QIP at ₹445 a share, it said on Wednesday
Meanwhile, trade minister Piyush Goyal said, imports of uncategorized items may soon require special licences, with the commerce ministry seeking to curb such imports by shifting them to a restricted list in a month.
Bond yields dropped as a boost from the trade deal failed to offset pressure from low US producer price inflation data, which highlighted persistently low inflationary pressure.
The price index rose less than expected in December to cap 2019 with rise of 1.3%, lowest since 2015.
The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield slipped to one-week low of 1.786% compared with a high of 1.900% last Thursday.
Weak inflation was evident also in UK where consumer price inflation slowed to 1.3%, its slowest rate in three years. The data fanned bets the Bank of England will cut interest rates at the end of this month, bringing Britain's currency under further pressure briefly.
The pound last traded at $1.3040, having managed to recover a tad from its three-week low touched earlier this week. The Swiss franc held firm, having risen to its strongest against the dollar in over a year and its highest against the euro in almost three years after the United States added Switzerland to its watchlist of currency manipulators.
Washington's decision led traders to think it will become difficult for the Swiss National Bank to intervene to weaken the franc in the future.
The Swiss currency last stood at 0.9637 franc per dollar, near Wednesday's high of 0.9631. In contrast, the Chinese yuan hovered just below its 5.5-month high touched earlier this week after Washington dropped its currency manipulator label on China.
Coupled with the trade deal, warmer ties between the two countries are seen as positive for the Chinese economy and its currency. The offshore yuan stood at 6.8860 to the dollar, near Tuesday's high of 6.8662.
Other currencies have mostly muted reaction to the trade deal. Against the yen the dollar traded at 109.90 yen, below its near eight-month peak of 110.22 set on Tuesday. The euro stood at $1.1152 , extending its recovery from a low of $1.10855 hit last Friday.
Oil prices edged back after touching a six-week trough the previous day on data showing big increases in US refined products. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 0.48% to $58.09 per barrel. It had fallen to as low as $57.36 on Wednesday.
(Reuters contributed to the story)