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* Trade-sensitive Caterpillar, Boeing rise premarket
* GE soars on sale of biopharma business for $21 bln
* Futures up: Dow 0.60 pct, S&P 0.50 pct, Nasdaq 0.72 pct (Adds comments, details, updates prices)
By Shreyashi Sanyal
Feb 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open higher onMonday, fueled by hopes of a resolution to a trade war betweenthe United States and China after President Donald Trump said hewould delay a hike in tariffs on Chinese imports.
Trump said the trade talks were "productive" and that he andChinese President Xi Jinping would meet to seal a deal ifprogress continued. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N20J04S
The announcement is the clearest sign yet that the two sidesare closing in on a deal to end their prolonged trade spat, asTrump cited progress in divisive areas such as intellectualproperty protection, technology transfers, agriculture, servicesand currency.
"It's all about the extension of the trade deadline, it buysus some time and that is a positive," said Scott Brown, chiefeconomist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"There is enormous pressure on the administration to getthis out of the way. It might take a few more weeks but I expectsome sort of a trade deal to get done."
Tariff-exposed companies Caterpillar IncCAT.N and BoeingCo BA.N rose 1 percent each, leading gains among the 26 DowJones Industrial Average .DJI stocks that were tradingpremarket.
Apple IncAAPL.O shares were up 0.6 percent, as tradetensions were expected to weigh on the iPhone maker.
Semiconductor companies, which have a big exposure to China,traded higher with Micron Technology IncMU.O , Advanced MicroDevices IncAMD.O and Intel CorpINTC.O up between 1 percentand 2.5 percent.
At 8:24 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 157 points, or0.6 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 14 points, or 0.5percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 50.75 points, or0.72 percent.
Optimism on the trade front and dovish signals from theFederal Reserve have bolstered U.S. stocks in recent weeks, withthe S&P 500 index .SPX about 5 percent away from its recordclosing high hit in late September.
The benchmark index closed up at its highest level in overthree months on Friday.
General Electric CoGE.N surged 17.3 percent after theindustrial conglomerate said it would sell its biopharmabusiness to Danaher CorpDHR.N for $21 billion. Shares ofDanaher climbed 6.6 percent. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20K3W3
Newmont Mining CorpNEM.N gained 1.0 percent afterCanadian miner Barrick Gold CorpABX.TO offered to buy thecompany in an $18 billion stock deal. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20K3OI
Oil majors Exxon Mobil CorpXOM.N and Chevron CorpCVX.N dropped after oil prices slipped on comments from Trump who told OPEC producers to "relax" as prices were too high. O/R
Investors will be keeping a close watch on Fed Chair JeromePowell who is set to testify on monetary policy on Tuesday andWednesday, almost two months after the central bank said itwould be "patient" with further rate hikes. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel inBengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva) ((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780 ;Reuters Messaging:Shreyashi.Sanyal.firstname.lastname@example.org))
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.