European shares surged today after early signs of a detente in trade rhetoric between Washington and Beijing, while French supermarket Monoprix stole the limelight after sealing a partnership with Amazon.

London's FTSE index had gained 1.8% in afternoon trade, while the Paris CAC was up 1% and the Frankfurt DAX rose 1.5%. Shares in Dublin were also higher, with the ISEQ up 1%.

Earlier in Asian trade, Tokyo's Nikkei closed 2.6% higher as fears of a global trade war eased and as testimony to parliament about a cronyism scandal dogging Japan's premier produced few damaging revelations. 

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong also closed higher, adding 0.8%.

Wall Street stocks surged last night amid bargain-hunting and hopes that the US and China could negotiate new terms of trade and avoid a trade war. 

The Dow Jones finished up 2.8% at 24,203, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.7% to close at 2,658 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite index jumped 3.3% to finish at 7,220.

US stocks tumbled on both Thursday and Friday last week after President Donald Trump unveiled tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports and vowed to counter China's alleged "theft" of American intellectual property. 

But analysts were heartened by a Wall Street Journal report that said the two countries were actually in talks and that the US had provided specific demands for China that could help resolve the conflict.

Analysts said that investors are trying to deduce how much of Trump's rhetoric is realistic and how much is a "bargaining tactic".

Technology shares were strong, with Apple advancing 4.8%, Intel 6.3%, Netflix and Adobe Systems both 6.5%. 

Microsoft led the Dow with a 7.6% gain after Morgan Stanley lifted its price target on the company, citing the promise of its public cloud offerings. 

Facebook's gains were a comparatively tepid 0.4% after the Federal Trade Commission confirmed news reports from last week that it had opened an inquiry over the harvesting of Facebook data on tens of millions of the social network's users by the British consulting group Cambridge Analytica.

Export-oriented companies enjoyed a good day, with Caterpillar winning 3.4%, and Boeing and General Motors both up about 2.5%. 

All were under pressure last week on fears of a trade clash with China.