KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, London's FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent to 7,661 while Germany's DAX added 0.6 percent to 12,485. France's CAC 40 gained 0.8 percent to 5,389. On Wednesday, the CAC 40 and DAX both lost 1.5 percent while the FTSE 100 was off 1.3 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index were up 0.4 percent.
TRADE FOCUS: China's government said it will take "firm and forceful measures" if the Trump administration goes ahead with its threat of tariff hikes on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods. President Donald Trump has threatened to raise duties on almost everything Americans buy from China. Beijing is running out of American goods for retaliatory tariffs due to its lopsided trade balance, which means it might impose other measures.
ANALYST TAKE: "While markets have typically reacted negatively to any escalation on trade, the overall impact has been relatively modest under the circumstances which suggests investors are far from panic mode right now," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. "Many agree that tariffs will ultimately be bad for the global economy and therefore markets but there still seems to be some hope that common sense will prevail and a full blown trade war will be averted."
ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.2 percent to 2,837.66 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 percent to 22,187.96. India's Sensex climbed 1 percent to 36,615.08 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.9 percent to 6,268.30. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.7 percent to 28,517.61 and Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,285.06. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia also advanced, while New Zealand declined.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 54 cents to $70.92 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 85 cents to $74.25 per barrel in London.
CURRENCY: The euro was up 0.1 percent at $1.1654 while the dollar rose 0.5 percent at 112.46 yen.
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