Markets rise as China set to ramp up imports from US farmers

It came as reports emerged that China will start buying more American agricultural goods, in a sign of a thaw in the tense relationship between the two countries’ governments. “Though there is plenty of reason to be worried about the relationship between the two superpowers – just yesterday the president tweeted that the US ‘certainly does maintain a policy option, under various circumstances, of a complete decoupling from China’ – a commitment to fulfilling the terms of the phase 1 trade agreement can be read as a positive,” said ConnorCampbell at Spreadex. The FTSE was pushed higher by Aveva and Taylor Wimpey, the latter making up lost ground from Thursday when it announced plans to sell more than £500 million worth of new shares. “It helped enormously that the pound struggled against dollar and euro alike,” Mr Campbell said as sterling hit its lowest point against the US currency since the beginning of the month. In company news, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto closed down by 0.5% on the day it bowed to pressure from campaigners to publish a report into why it blew up a 46,000-year-old heritage site in Australia. Chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said the company needs to regain the trust of local Aboriginal people amid a storm over its decision to blast at the Juukan Gorge site.