Global shares mostly rise after Wall Street’s pause

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mostly higher yesterday, although Wall Street had taken a pause from the market optimism underlined in a record-setting climb earlier in the week.

United States (US) markets was closed yesterday for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will be open for half the day today, closing at 1pm Eastern.

France’s CAC 40 edged up nearly 0.2 per cent in early trading to 5,580.20, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 per cent to 13,310.23. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 per cent to 6,373.48.

Dow futures gained 0.1 per cent to 29,862, while S&P 500 futures added 0.2 per cent to 3,633.38.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.9 per cent to finish at 26,537.31, the highest level for the index since the collapse of the Japanese “bubble economy” nearly three decades ago.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.7 per cent to 6,636.40, but South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.9 per cent to 2,625.91. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent to 26,819.45, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.2 per cent at 3,369.73.

The upbeat mood earlier in the week was set off by news of the development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments.

The screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) and the foreign exchange rate between US dollar and South Korean won are seen in Seoul, South Korea yesterday. PHOTO: AP

A reality check then appeared to be setting in amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a batch of discouraging US economic data, including jobless numbers.

“Investors are still inoculated from iffy data this week, reveling in the vaccine pipeline. Still, they might need to be concerned with more days like this as the virus hits the economy faster than the vaccine rollout evolves,” said Chief Global Market Strategist Stephen Innes at Axi.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to soar around the world, and deaths related to the sickness are growing, hitting more than 1.4 million people cumulatively worldwide. Worries are growing about it spreading during the Thanksgiving holiday in the US In Japan, authorities asked restaurants to close early, and people to refrain from travel.

Recent reports show the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid jumped last week to the highest level in more than a month. A separate report showed consumer spending posted the weakest gain since April.

“The market overall has reached by most standards what we call overbought conditions, and that typically suggests that the market would need to digest the gains, perhaps pause a bit, and consolidate,” said Chief Market Strategist Quincy Krosby at Prudential Financial.

Traders have also been encouraged by signs that the transition of power in the US to President-elect Joe Biden has begun. Wall Street is also welcoming Biden’s selection of former Fed chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary.

The Commerce Department said US consumer spending, the primary driver of the economy, rose by a sluggish 0.5 per cent in October, the weakest gain since April when the pandemic first erupted. At the same time, the government said that income, which provides the fuel for consumer spending, fell 0.7 per cent in October.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude shed 32 cents to USD45.39 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 28 cents to USD48.33 a barrel.

The US dollar inched down to JPY104.29 from JPY104.50. The euro cost USD1.1933, up from USD1.1885.