Business Report AFTER THE BELL: China/U.S. trade optimism pushes Dow higher, green day on Bay Street SHARE ON: Troy Landreville, staff Wednesday, Dec. 12th, 2018 Optimism over a thaw in U.S./China trade tensions coupled with a rally among energy and bank stocks gave the TSX a boost today. According to the Wall Street Journal, China is working on a plan to ease access to foreign companies, a move that would potentially soften the country’s protectionist stance. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said talks between the two countries are moving along. Hope over a possible trade deal between the world’s two largest economies lifted markets on both sides of the border. The TSX gained 115 points as every sector with the exception of real estate moved into the green. The energy sector led the surge on Bay Street, up 1.5 percent despite a fluctuation in oil prices. Oil pared earlier gains by falling 47 cents to $51.18 US a barrel, after the U.S. government reported a less-than-expected decline in domestic crude supplies. In New York, the Dow jumped 157 points as companies with strong trade ties moved higher. Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar, and 3M rose between 0.2 and 1.7 percent. There was also a lift in the index’s financial sector, with American Express, JP Morgan Chase, and Visa finishing in the green. The Nasdaq was up by 66 points as FAANG stocks climbed higher. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet, all gained between 0.2 and 4.1 percent. The loonie strengthened 16/100ths of a cent to $0.7483 US while gold increased $3.90 in value to $1,246 an ounce.