May 21, 2018 / 6:27 AM / 6 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rally after Mnuchin says Sino-U.S. trade war "on hold"

* U.S. stock futures up 0.6 pct, China shares shine

* U.S. bonds steady but seen vulnerable

* Trade war truce seen as positive for risk sentiment

* Oil up after Venezuelan election

* European shares seen 0.4-0.7 pct higher

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, May 21 (Reuters) - Stocks rose on Monday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the U.S.-China trade war “on hold” following their agreement to suspend the tariff threats that roiled global markets this year.

U.S. S&P mini futures rose 0.60 percent in Asian trade on Monday. European stocks are expected to follow suit, with spread-betters seeing a higher opening of 0.7 percent in Britain’s FTSE and 0.4 percent in Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.45 percent, led by strong gains in greater China. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.3 percent, Taiwanese shares 1.3 percent.

The Shanghai Shenzen CSI 300 gained 0.7 percent, hitting five-week highs.

Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.4 percent.

Mnuchin and U.S. President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the agreement reached by Chinese and American negotiators on Saturday set up a framework for addressing trade imbalances in the future.

“The weekend talks appear to have made progress. While they still need to work out details of a wider trade deal, it is positive for markets that they struck a truce,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.

As safe-haven demand for debt fell, U.S. bond prices were under pressure, keeping their yields not far from last week’s peaks.

The 10-year Treasuries yield stood at 3.076 percent , near a seven-year high of 3.128 percent hit on Friday.

“Recent data suggests the U.S. economy is very strong, hardly slowing down in Jan-Mar. The world economy slowed in that quarter but it appears to be rebounding. And recent rises in oil prices are likely to lift inflation expectations further,” said Tomoaki Shishido, senior fixed income analyst at Nomura Securities.

“We expect more selling until the next Fed’s meeting in June,” he said.

In the currency market, higher U.S. yields helped to strengthen the dollar against a wide range of currencies.

The euro dipped 0.2 percent to $1.1748, hitting its lowest level since mid-December.

The common currency was also hit after two anti-establishment parties pledged to increase spending in a deal to form a new coalition government in Italy.

The dollar maintained an uptrend against the yen, rising 0.5 percent to 110.29 yen,, a high last seen in January.

Some emerging market currencies remained fragile. The Indonesian rupiah dropped 0.3 percent to 2 1/2-year lows and the Turkish lira slipped 0.7 percent to record lows.

Oil prices held firm near 3-1/2-year highs, drawing support from easing trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

The market is keeping an eye on Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro won a new six-year term, an outcome that could trigger additional sanctions from the United States and more censure from the European Union and Latin America.

Oil prices have been supported by plummeting Venezuelan production, in addition to a solid global demand and supply concerns stemming from tensions in the Middle East.

U.S. crude futures rose 0.8 percent to $71.83 per barrel, near last week’s 3 1/2-year high of $72.30 while Brent crude futures notched up 0.8 percent to $79.10 per barrel. It had risen to $80.50 last week, its highest since November 2014.

Venezuelan debt is barely traded in Asia but bonds issued by Venezuelan oil company PDVSA maturing in 2020 were quoted at a yield around 19.4 percent, a tad above last week’s low around 18.4 percent.

Elsewhere U.S. soybeans jumped 2 percent on the Sino-U.S. agreement to drop tariff threats. In April, China proposed a 25 percent duty on U.S. soybeans as part of its response to Washington’s plans to impose tariffs on a range of Chinese products.

Reporting by Hideyuki Sano Editing by Eric Meijer & Shri Navaratnam

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