U.S. Stocks moved higher in early afternoon trading Wednesday, amid mostly positive foreign action, word the Hong Kong stock exchange offered to buy the London Stoch Exchange (LSE) and China’s decision to waive import tariffs on more than a dozen U.S. goods.

At the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened flat. By early afternoon the Dow was up 12.51 points or 0.38%,  while the S&P added 13.44 points or 0.45%, off 0.1 point and the Nasdaq gained 71.03 points or 0.87%.

The Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. made an unsolicited $36.6 billion offer to buy its London counterpart on condition the LSE’s bid to acquire Refinitiv Holdings Ltd. falls through. A merger between two of the world’s major trading hubs could take the spotlight off political unrest in the Chinese territory and Brexit maneuvering.

Charles Li, chief executive of the Hong Kong exchange, told a conference call the offer had nothing to do with ongoing protests in Hong Kong. The LSE said it would consider the offer but still is committed to the Refinitiv deal.

“We are here like a corporate Romeo and Juliet,” Li said. “We know we were late. ... We want to openly express our admiration.”

China issued tariff exemptions on 16 products, including fish meal and cancer drugs but kept levies in place for pork, soybeans and other agricultural and manufacturing products. The trade war with the U.S. has been weighing on the Chinese economy, which is in a growth slump. The U.S. imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated, targeting more than 5,000 U.S. products.

Wednesday’s announcement comes ahead of low-level talks between the world’s two largest economies in coming days and a planned high-level meeting in early October.

Global markets were mostly higher. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Heng Seng closed up 475.38 points or 1.78%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 205.66 points or 0.96% while China’s Shanghai Composite was off 12.39 points or 0.41%. Australia’s S&P/ASX added 23.9 points or 0.36%.

In Europe, The London FTSE closed up 70.08 points or 0.96% . The German DAX gained 90.36 points or 0.74% and the French CAC was up 24.85 points or 0.44%.

Crude oil futures were up 0.36%. Gold and silver were lower.