Global shares advance, tracking Wall Street tech rally

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares are higher, tracking gains in Asia and on Wall Street overnight as investors shrug off reports of surging coronavirus cases in the United States (US) and many other countries.

France’s CAC 40 gained 1.6 per cent in early trading to 5,026.27, while Germany’s DAX stood at 12,525.32, up 2.0 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.8 per cent to 6,295.18. US shares were set for gains, with Dow futures up 0.7 per cent at 26,132.0. S&P 500 futures were also higher at 3,128.88, up 0.6 per cent.

Asian markets initially opened lower, spooked by reported comments by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro suggesting the US trade deal with China was in trouble.

However, Navarro said his comments were taken out of context, and US President Donald Trump tweeted that the agreement with China, the basis for a truce in a tariff war over technology and other problems, is still on.

Trump tweeted: “The China Trade Deal is fully intact. Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the Agreement!”

A woman wearing a face mask walks past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday. PHOTO: AP

Comments by either side suggesting progress or problems with the trade agreement have added to the uncertainties prevailing in the midst of the pandemic, pushing and pulling at share prices.

After some early losses, markets pressed higher. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.5 per cent to finish at 22,549.05. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.6 per cent to 24,907.34 and South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.2 per cent to 2,131.24. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2 per cent to 5,954.40, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.2 to 2,970.62.

Shares rose in Singapore and Taiwan but fell in Jakarta.

“It’s back to the regular order of business, which is trying to figure out why stocks are so high!” Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a commentary. “You can add the resurgence of COVID-19 to the laundry list of things the market doesn’t care about, so it seems.”

Investors are favouring retailers and other companies that are poised to do well now that more businesses have been given the go-ahead to reopen. But traders are also continuing to hedge their bets by snapping up traditionally less risky assets, such as government bonds and gold, which also rose.

Yesterday, the Commerce Department served up new home sales figures for May.

Further updates on the US economy are expected toward the end of this week, when the government will issue data on consumer spending, weekly unemployment aid applications and durable goods orders.

Benchmark US crude oil added 38 cents to USD41.11 a barrel.

Brent crude, the international standard, rose 39 cents to USD43.47 per barrel.

The dollar rose to JPY107.17 from JPY106.90 late Monday.

The euro was trading at USD1.1268, up from USD1.1262.