May 14, 2018 / 8:26 PM / 6 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-World stocks rise amid U.S.-China trade hopes; oil gains

* Wall Street edges higher, Asian shares climb

* Trump says to help ZTE "get back into business, fast"

* Dollar index rises after three down sessions

* Treasury yields climb, oil rises on OPEC report (Updates with close of U.S. markets)

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - A gauge of stocks around the world reached its highest point in about two months on Monday amid hopes for improving trade relations between the United States and China, while oil prices climbed further.

Wall Street's main stock indexes registered slim gains, pulling back from stronger increases during the session.

U.S. President Donald Trump pledged on Sunday to help ZTE Corp "get back into business, fast" after a U.S. ban crippled the Chinese technology company, offering a job-saving concession to Beijing ahead of high-stakes trade talks this week.

MSCI's index of stocks across the globe gained 0.12 percent, hitting a roughly two-month high during the session.

Growing trade tensions have worried investors, with concerns about a global trade war feeding into increased volatility in the stock market in recent months.

"It seems like there's a little less concern about a trade war with China given some of the overtures that President Trump made," said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana. "They're hoping for a dying down of the trade war rhetoric and, quite frankly, they're probably looking for some successful deals (to be) made."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 68.24 points, or 0.27 percent, to 24,899.41, the S&P 500 gained 2.41 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,730.13 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.43 points, or 0.11 percent, to 7,411.32.

Energy shares were the top-performing major group, helped by oil price gains, while defensive sectors such as real estate and utilities lagged.

In Asia, Shanghai's SSE Composite index rose 0.3 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 1.4 percent, and Japan's Nikkei rose 0.5 percent.

Investors also pointed to improving sentiment about geopolitical tensions involving North Korea. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Washington would agree to lift sanctions on North Korea if the country agrees to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, a move that would create economic prosperity that "will rival" that of South Korea.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.04 percent.

Oil prices rose as OPEC reported that the global oil glut has been virtually eliminated, while U.S. crude's discount to global benchmark Brent widened to its deepest in nearly five months.

U.S. crude settled up 0.37 percent to $70.96 per barrel and Brent settled up 1.44 percent at $78.23.

The report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries "was bullish. That absolute plunge in Venezuelan production ... just highlights how tenuous the market is in terms of the supply and demand balance," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC.

The dollar index rose 0.09 percent, with the euro down 0.05 percent to $1.1936.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last fell 7/32 in price to yield 2.9969 percent, from 2.971 percent late on Friday.

Additional reporting by Stephen Culp and Ayenat Mersie in New York Editing by Cynthia Osterman and James Dalgleish

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