International markets roundup

(Australian Associated Press)


NEW YORK: Wall Street is higher in late afternoon trading with tech stocks back in demand after a post-election drubbing pushing the Nadaq up more than one per cent.

The S&P technology sector, which had fallen about three per cent since Donald Trump’s shock presidential election victory, rose 1.19 per cent.

Tech giants Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet provided the biggest boost to the S&P and the Dow.

“The underlying fundamentals of the economy hasn’t really changed and if the economy is strong that will lead to more capital spending which should benefit tech stocks,” said Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at the Private Client Group at US Bank in Park City, Utah.

Both the S&P and the Dow have rallied in the past week since Trump’s win on expectations of higher fiscal spending and lower regulations in the financial and environmental sectors.

However, investors remain uncertain about the details of Trump’s policies and are also keeping an eye on key appointments in his administration.

“Last week’s rally was basically a digestion of Trump’s win and now that we’re past the digestion phase, the market is taking a bit of a breather and is waiting to see what lies ahead under a Republican government,” said Watkins.

At 0723 Wednesday AEDT, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.2 per cent at 18,907.35, the S&P 500 was up 0.7 per cent, at 2,179.85 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.2 per cent, at 5,281.26.

LONDON: European shares edged up helped by a surge in crude oil prices and a rebound in utilities, while telecoms equipment maker Nokia slumped on a disappointing earnings outlook update.

The STOXX 600 rose 0.3 per cent at the end of a choppy session. The pan-European index remains down 7 per cent so far in 2016.

Hopes of huge fiscal stimulus in the US under Donald Trump’s administration have fuelled a rally in bond yields and rate hike expectations, prompting investors to favour financials over dividend-paying sectors such as utilities or real estate.

But the bond sell-off abated, taking some pressure off the utilities and real estate sectors, which were among the best performers in Europe with gains of 0.7 and 1.5 per cent respectively.

London’s FTSE rose 0.6 per cent to close at 6,792.74, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.4 per cent to 10,735.14.

TOKYO: Concern the new US administration could take a more protectionist stance on trade hit Asian stocks and currencies.

China’s yuan, which like other Asian currencies has taken a hit since the election, fell to its weakest level against the US dollar in almost eight years.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was broadly flat. The Nikkei 225 closed just 0.03 per cent lower at 17,668.15.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 per cent to cloe at 3,206.99.

Hong Kong stocks rebounded, recovering from a near three-and-a-half-month closing low the previous day, as recent sharp gains in US Treasury yields appeared to level off.

The benchmark Hang Seng index ended up 0.5 percent, to 22,323.91, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.6 per cent, to 9,398.10 points.

“In Hong Kong, our eyes were on the US. market in the evening and then shifted to China’s market in the morning where sentiment has been positive,” said Qian Qimin, analyst at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities, adding however that gains would be capped due to recent volatility in global markets.

WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 32.66 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6,770.42.


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