Market Update & Important Indicators
Rising shares of Boeing and other industrial companies pushed major indexes higher Thursday. The gains put major indexes on the rebound after recent declines. The S&P 500 logged declines in the previous four trading sessions, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen for two consecutive sessions. The Nasdaq Composite declined in three of the past four. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% about an hour before the close, while the S&P 500 rose 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.5%. Shares of industrial companies rose 1.1% in the S&P 500. Boeing was one of the biggest contributors to the Dow. Shares of Boeing have jumped about 83% this year on a series of upbeat profit reports, fuelling much of the blue-chip index's gain this year. Shares of technology companies in the S&P 500 gained 0.6% to extend their gains through a third consecutive day. Tech companies had fallen in prior sessions, as investors sold those stocks and moved into shares of companies they expected to benefit more from Republicans' sweeping tax overhaul. Industrial firms also had been struggling this month. Analysts expect stocks to continue to wobble until there is a meaningful development on tax cuts. The Senate voted Wednesday to start formal negotiations with the House to advance final legislation. The U.S. gold price traded lower overnight, losing 1.3% to close at 1,246.80 US$/oz.
Stocks across Europe wobbled into the close, settling slightly higher as traders digested deal news and economic growth data. U.K. stocks underperformed the wider market, hurt by a rise in the pound on hopes U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is making progress in Brexit talks. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose less than 0.1%, as gains for the telecom, utility and financials sector largely offset losses for healthcare and basic materials stocks. Germany's DAX 30 index ended 0.4% higher, and France's CAC 40 rose 0.2%. U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.4%, weighed by a rebound in the British pound.
Asia stocks largely steadied. Japan, one of Wednesday's worst performers, rebounded strongly, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 rising 1.45%. Hong Kong's Hang Sang rose 0.3%. But selling continued in mainland China, South Korea and Taiwan. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.7%, Korea's Kospi fell 0.5%, and Taiwan's tech-heavy Taiex shed 0.4%.
Australian shares notched their first gain of the week and strongest session in four weeks as a recovery by the major banks led broad gains. Even with a fade in the final minutes, the S&P/ASX 200 settled near session highs, rising 0.5%. Commonwealth Bank ended a five-day slide, gaining 0.5%, while peers added to their Wednesday gains. Resources also steadied despite fresh overnight weakness in commodity prices; Rio Tinto gained 0.9%. And exchange operator ASX rose 0.7% while saying it will adopt blockchain technology for clearing and settling equity trades.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded higher overnight, gaining 0.2% to finish at $6,564/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices lost 0.5% to 1,992/t, whilst Lead prices pared 3.1% to close at 2,431/t. Zinc prices traded flat, closing at 3,101/t, whilst Nickel prices bounced 2.2% to 10,987/t. Tin prices closed 0.3% lower at 19,495/t.
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