World shares, US futures advance ahead of US GDP report

AP – World shares advanced yesterday ahead of the release of United States (US) economic growth data and following a speech by US President Joe Biden outlining ambitious plans for beefing up early education and other family oriented policies.

London’s FTSE 100 jumped 0.7 per cent to 7,013.40. In Paris, the CAC40 climbed 0.6 per cent to 6,344.17. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2 per cent to 15,262.39 as a report showed weakening consumer confidence. The future for the Dow industrials rose 0.4 per cent and that for the S&P 500 surged 0.6 per cent.

US growth in the January-March quarter could top five per cent and accelerate even more to 10 per cent or even more in the current April-June quarter as pent-up demand fuels spending.

In his speech on Wednesday evening, the president ticked off details of some of his plan for USD1.8 trillion in spending to expand preschool, create a national family and medical leave programme, distribute child care subsidies and more.

The plan comes on top of his proposal for USD2.3 trillion in spending to rebuild roads and bridges, expand broadband access and launch other infrastructure projects.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.8 per cent to 29,303.26 and the Shanghai Composite index picked up 0.5 per cent to 3,474.90. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 per cent to 7,082.30.

Markets in Tokyo were closed for a holiday.

In other trading yesterday, benchmark US crude oil rose 50 cents to USD64.36 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 92 cents to USD63.86 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, advanced 54 cents to USD67.32 per barrel.

The US dollar rose to JPY108.96. The euro fell to EUR1.2113 from EUR1.2128.

Currency traders at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea. PHOTO: AP