London — Investors hungry for progress on a US-China trade war seized on US President Donald Trump’s comment that he could let a March 1 deadline for a trade agreement with China “slide”, taking this as a cue to buy stocks and sell bonds on Wednesday. As US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and US trade representative Robert Lighthizer prepared for talks in Beijing on Thursday and Friday to hammer out a trade deal, markets cheered the signal that there could be an extension to a tariff truce. European shares followed Asia’s lead to rise across the board with the trade-sensitive German index jumping 0.8% and the pan-European STOXX 600 up 0.5%. Chemicals, car makers, and luxury goods saw the biggest gains as investors snatched stocks whose valuations have been hit by trade tariffs and a slowdown in China. China’s blue-chip CSI 300 rose about 2% to a four-month high overnight, with IT shares leading gains. Trump said on Tuesday that he could see letting the March 1 deadline for reachin...

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