flags of usa and china painted on cracked wall

North American stock markets got a lift as trade talks got underway with hopes for a truce between the U.S. and China.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 42.81 points at 16,422.68.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 150.66 points at 26,496.67. The S&P 500 index was up 18.73 points at 2,938.13, while the Nasdaq composite was up 47.04 points at 7,950.78.

The Canadian dollar traded for an average of US75.22¢ compared with an average of US75.05¢ on Wednesday.

The November crude contract was up US96¢ at US$53.55 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was down US1.6¢ at US$2.22 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was down US$11.90 at US$1,500.90 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 4.55 cents at US$2.61 a pound.