Global stocks advance after Wall Street snaps winning streak

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets and United States (US) futures rose yesterday after Wall Street broke a six-day winning streak.

London and Frankfurt opened higher, while Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong also advanced.

On Tuesday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended down 0.1 per cent as investors watched Washington, where US President Joe Biden’s Democrats planned to move ahead without Republican help on a stimulus plan.

“In all likelihood, after a few firm sessions, equities just ran out of short-term momentum,” said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda in a report. He said buying sentiment “hasn’t gone, it’s just taken a little rest”, reflected by the renewed rise in US futures during Asia’s morning.

Investor optimism has been helped by the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the Federal Reserve’s promise to support the struggling US economy.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.3 per cent to 6,554.35. The Dax in Frankfurt slipped 0.3 per cent to 13,973.31, while the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.1 per cent to 5,699.78.

A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP

On Wall Street, the future for the S&P 500 index rose 0.3 per cent and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.2 per cent higher.

On Tuesday, the Dow lost less than 0.1 per cent while Nasdaq rose 0.1 per cent to a record. All three benchmarks hit record highs on Monday.

Companies that deal with consumer services and products were the biggest drag on the broader market, outweighing gains in communications, industrial and health care stocks.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4 per cent to 3,655.09 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.2 per cent to 29,562.30. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.9 per cent to 30,038.72.

The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.5 per cent to 3,100.58 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was 0.5 per cent higher at 6,856.90. India’s Sensex lost 0.6 per cent to 51,055.24. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

US stocks have risen on optimism the worst economic impact of the pandemic might be past.

In Washington, Democrats have rallied around Biden’s USD1.9 trillion stimulus plan for the struggling economy. It includes one-time payments to Americans plus a likely increase in the federal minimum wage to USD15 an hour.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude oil lost 13 cents to USD58.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 39 cents on Tuesday to USD58.36. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed five cents to USD61.04 per barrel in London. It added 53 cents the previous session to USD61.09 a barrel.

The dollar declined to JPY104.46 from Tuesday’s JPY104.55. The euro advanced to 1.2139 from USD1.2120.