World stocks hit all-time high, tops Jan 2018 level

FILE PHOTO: Passersby are reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks hit a record high on Thursday, passing an all-time peak set in early 2018, on investor enthusiasm the United States and China were close to an initial deal to defuse a prolonged trade war.

Shares moved sharply higher after U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet that the two countries were “getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL.”

The MSCI all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 49 countries, climbed to 551.84 points to surpass the previous record of 550.63 points set on Jan. 29, 2018.

The index has risen more than 20% this year, helped as well by a lowering of interest rates and injections of government stimulus around the world.

(GRAPHIC: World stocks have surged $10 trillion on way back to record high - )

Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama