Friday, September 29, 2023
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Global stocks higher after Wall Street ends 2021 with big gain

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets and United States (US) futures were mostly higher yesterday on 2022’s first trading day after Wall Street ended last year with a double-digit gain.

Frankfurt and Paris opened higher while Seoul and India advanced. Hong Kong retreated. Markets in Britain, China, Japan and Australia were closed.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index slipped on Friday amid lingering worries about the coronavirus’s Omicron variant but ended 2021 with an annual gain of 26.9 per cent.

“It remains to be seen to what extent the optimism of the New Year will be reflected in financial markets,” said Venkateswaran Levanya of Mizuho Bank in a report.

In early trading, Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.8 per cent to 16,010.77 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.9 per cent to 7,213.57. On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were 0.4 per cent higher. On Friday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.3 per cent and the Dow slid 0.2 per cent. The Nasdaq fell 0.6 per cent.

South Korean politicians attend a ceremony for the first trading day of the stock market at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in Seoul. PHOTO: AP

In Asian trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.5 per cent to 23,274.75 and the Kospi in South Korea rose 0.4 per cent to 2,988.77.

One of China’s biggest real estate developers, Evergrande Group, which is struggling to avoid a default on USD310 billion of debt, announced yesterday it had asked for trading of its shares in Hong Kong to be suspended ahead of an announcement of unspecified “inside information”.

India’s Sensex gained 1.4 per cent to 59,101.23. Singapore, Jakarta and Malaysia advanced.

Markets in New Zealand and Thailand were closed.

Also yesterday, Singapore’s government announced its economy grew by 7.2 per cent last year, rebounding from the previous year’s 5.4 per cent contraction.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude rose 86 cents to USD86.07 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell USD1.78 on Friday to USD75.21. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, gained 87 cents to USD78.65 per barrel in London.

It lost USD1.75 the previous session to USD77.78 per barrel.

The dollar advanced to 115.29 yen from Friday’s JPY115.09.

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