* U.S. stocks higher in early trading
* Intel a boost to S&P 500
* Sterling still fragile (Updates with oil price settlements)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Global stock indexes were higher on Friday after upbeat news on the trade front and strong results from companies including Intel, while the British pound extended losses from the previous day amid fresh uncertainty around Britain's exit from the European Union.
Trade talks were back in focus as the U.S. trade representative's office said U.S. and Chinese trade officials are "close to finalizing" some parts of an agreement after high-level telephone discussions on Friday.
Washington and Beijing are working to agree the text for a "Phase 1" trade agreement announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on Oct. 11. Trump has said he hopes to sign the deal with China's President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile.
Intel, which posted strong results, helped to buoy the S&P 500 index in early trading, even as Amazon.com Inc shares weighed following the company's forecast for revenue and profit for the holiday quarter below expectations.
The majority of U.S. companies have beaten Wall Street expectations so far this earnings season despite concern about the trade war.
"We've had some misses ... mostly due to trade war concerns, but overall, it looks like we're headed for a fairly good earnings season," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
The S&P 500 briefly surpassed its closing record of 3,025.86 from July 26 and came close to overtaking its all-time intraday high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 165.61 points, or 0.62%, to 26,971.14, the S&P 500 gained 12.9 points, or 0.43%, to 3,023.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 53.51 points, or 0.65%, to 8,239.31.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.16% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.26%.
The world's largest beer maker by Anheuser-Busch InBev tumbled on disappointing quarterly profit and a glum outlook as the earnings season rumbled on.
Sterling was last trading at $1.282, down 0.23% on the day.
Reuters reported a source close to French President Emmanuel Macron said an extension to the negotiations for Britain's departure from the European Union was not justified at this stage.
In the U.S. bond market, yields were generally rangebound.
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 10/32 in price to yield 1.8013%, from 1.766% late on Thursday.
A Reuters poll of economists showed that most think a steeper decline in global growth is more likely than a synchronised recovery, despite central bank easing.
Markets are pricing in a 90% chance of a rate cut at next week's Federal Reserve meeting.
On the energy front, oil prices climbed, with support from falling U.S. crude stocks.
U.S. crude rose 43 cents to settle at $56.66 a barrel, while Brent gained 35 cents to settle at $62.02.
Additional reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and Karin Strohecker in London; Editing by Alistair Bell and Daniel Wallis