International markets roundup

(Australian Associated Press)

Wall Street’s major indexes have inched higher as financial, healthcare and industrial stocks extend the new year rally powered by expectations of strong quarterly earnings.

Investors remain hopeful about global economic growth and tax-cut led gains for corporate earnings in a low interest rate environment.

In late afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.53 per cent, at 25,416.15, the S&P 500 was up 0.30 per cent, at 2,756.07 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.26 per cent, at 7,175.65.

European shares rose for a fourth straight session on Tuesday, lifted by strength among cyclical stocks and optimism about further growth in company earnings.

Expectations of possible dealmaking in the auto industry and a weaker euro also helped, pushing the STOXX 600 up 0.4 per cent at 400 points, its highest since August 2015 and just a few points below its all-time peak of 414.

The rise came as a global stock benchmark touched another record high with confidence in another strong earning season offsetting worries over valuations becoming too elevated.

Germany’s DAX rose 0.13 per cent to 13,385.59.

The UK’s top share index climbed to a new record closing level on Tuesday as Morrisons led a buoyant retail sector on the back of a well-received Christmas trading update.

Britain’s blue chip FTSE 100 index ended up 0.45 per cent at 7,731 points.

Shares in Morrisons were among the best performers on the FTSE, up 2.4 per cent after the supermarket chain beat sales expectations in the all-important Christmas trading period.

That lifted other British food retailers, as shares in peers Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury rose 2.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively.

A tweak to the Bank of Japan’s bond-buying program caused the yen to rise on Tuesday, while gains from commodity stocks as oil hit its highest since 2015 helped shares maintain their flying start to the year.

Asian trading saw Japan’s Nikkei lift more than half a per cent to finish Tuesday at its highest since November 1991. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.57 per cent to 23,849.99.

Hong Kong stocks rose for the 11th straight session to a fresh 10-year high, aided by inbound money flows from China and strength in index heavyweight Tencent Holdings which rose for the sixth straight session, and hit a record.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.36 per cent to 31,011.41. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.17 per cent to 12,255.68.

China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.13 per cent at 3,413.90 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.70 per cent at 4,189.30.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 0.09 per cent, to 8,433.23.


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Categories: Finance