Futures hit fresh record highs on positive signs in trade saga

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By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures touched new record highs on Monday, as President Donald Trump said over the weekend that the United States and China would “very shortly” sign their so-called Phase One trade pact.

The Phase One deal, announced earlier this month, helped fuel a rally on Wall Street, with its three main indexes hitting record closing highs on Friday. Last week, the S&P 500 () also registered its biggest weekly percentage gain since early September.

China said it will lower tariffs on products ranging from frozen pork and avocado to some types of semiconductors next year.

As the year draws to a close the benchmark index has risen 28.5% in 2019, putting it on track for its best annual performance since 2013.

On Friday, markets also cheered data which showed a rise in consumer spending, adding to a slew of encouraging data that has helped put a damper on recession fears, which plagued markets earlier this year.

Economic data points expected through the week were sparse, with the U.S. personal consumption expenditure deflator for November, due on Friday, being the only major report.

At 7:12 a.m. ET, were up 52 points, or 0.18%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.21% and were up 25 points, or 0.29%.

Among stocks, Tesla Inc (O:) rose 1.6% in premarket trading. The electric vehicle maker and a group of China banks have agreed to a new 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion), five-year loan facility for the automaker’s Shanghai car plant.

Apache Corp (N:) jumped 5.2% after the oil and gas producer along with French rival Total (PA:) said the companies have formed a joint venture to develop a project off Suriname.

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