Global stocks extended an early-year rally sparked by hopes that a compromise deal is near in long-running U.S.-China trade negotiations. Gains also were fueled by official indications that plans for tighter monetary policy in the U.S. and Europe may be on hold for now, boosting shares of cyclical companies. Global stocks rose 11% during the first two months of the year in U.S. dollar terms.
Information technology stocks led markets higher, bouncing back from a tough fourth quarter when the sector fell sharply. Industrial stocks advanced on the trade outlook and signs that the U.S. economy remains relatively healthy, even as Europe and China show signs of a significant slowdown. Real estate and communication services stocks lagged the overall market.