Stocks tick up on upbeat China factory reports

Global shares shuffled marginally higher on Monday to stand just short of the record peak struck in January 2018, encouraged by upbeat China manufacturing data and trade talk hopes.

As of 0550 GMT, MSCI's broadest gauge of world shares ticked up 0.1 percent.

MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.24 percent, reclaiming some of its losses on Friday while Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.01 percent.

Chinese mainland shares also went higher, with the blue chip CSI 300 index rising as much as 0.68 percent from a three-month low  on Friday, before paring gains to stand 0.16 percent higher.

VCG Photo

VCG Photo

U.S. stock futures ESc1 gained 0.31 percent to near record highs after a dip in a truncated U.S. session on Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

German DAX futures FDXc1 rose 0.21 percent while FTSE futures FFIc1 inched up 0.13 percent.

The Caixin-Markit purchasing managers' index, a private survey, hit 51.8 in November, making its quickest acceleration since December 2016, while providing a boost to investors' confidence. The 50-point level separates expansion from contraction.

China's official reading of manufacturing activity released on Saturday showed a return to growth for the first time in seven months. The better-than-expected data came as new orders grew and export orders also improved. 

VCG Photo

VCG Photo

The official PMI looks at larger state-owned companies, while the Caixin survey reviews smaller, private companies. 

On oil markets, both main contracts rallied in morning trade after Iraq said on Sunday that OPEC and other major producers would consider slashing output by 400,000 barrels a day to support prices when they meet in Vienna this week.

Eyes on trade talks

Investors are holding the broad view that a further escalation in the trade war can be avoided.

"It looks a bit difficult for two countries' leaders to shake hands and sign a deal this month. What is more likely is to essentially kick the can, with China buying more U.S. farm products while the U.S. postpones its next tariffs," said Hiroyuki Ueno, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.

Investors have long thought that the United States will avoid imposing an additional 15 percent tariff on about 156 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese products on December 15 after signing a deal with China.

(With input from Reuters, AFP)