Market Update & Important Indicators
Broader U.S. stock indices rose Wednesday as investors waited for an employment report at the end of the week that is likely to shed light on whether the U.S. economy is ready for higher interest rates. The Dow shed 10 points, or 0.1%, to 17,540, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ climbed 0.3% and 0.7% respectively. Investors around the globe are waiting for a clear sign as to when the Federal Reserve will raise short-term rates for the first time in nearly a decade. The continued focus on the path of U.S. interest rates has heightened the focus on Friday's jobs report, since Fed officials consider employment data as they make their decision. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect an addition of 215,000 jobs.
European stocks rose on Wednesday, fueled by a fresh batch of strong corporate earnings reports in Europe. The London FTSE, German DAX and French CAC indices climbed 1.0%, 1.6% and 1.7% respectively overnight. More than half of the constituents of the pan-European index have now reported quarterly results. Of those that have reported, more than 58% have beaten analysts' profit expectations, compared with 38% that have missed, according to FactSet data. But it was another bruising session for Greek stocks, which fell for a third straight day after opening for the first time in more than five weeks on Monday.
In Asia, the Nikkei climbed 0.5% and the Hang Seng was up 0.4% but the Shanghai Composite lost 1.7%. In Australia, falls in energy and banking shares amid broad selling worked to pull equities market lower in choppy trading on Wednesday. The All Ords was down 0.4%.
Iron ore added to recent gains, with the 62% Fines benchmark up 2.7% to $56.78/t. It was one of few commodities to gain though. Crude oil fell overnight, with Brent down 0.6% to $49.69/bbl and gold lost 0.3% to $1,085/oz. Amongst the base metals copper lost 1.2%, zinc fell 1.5%, while nickel added 0.3%.
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