Market Update & Important Indicators
Rising shares of banks and health-care companies pushed U.S. stock indexes higher intraday, as investor confidence in the New Year rally showed few signs of abating. The Dow industrials added 111 points, or 0.4%, to 25394 in recent trading. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.2%. Major U.S. indexes have steadily climbed higher in the first trading days of 2018, extending last year's rally. That is leaving investors hard pressed to find clues portending the rally's end, especially as geopolitical tensions with North Korea appear to be easing and ahead of the start of another quarter of upbeat earnings results. The S&P 500 is up six consecutive sessions, or every trading session so far this year. The last time the broad index rose five or more consecutive sessions to start the year was in 2010, when it traded up six consecutive days. Shares of financial firms were among the biggest gainers, as the benchmark Treasury 10-year note yield rose for a fourth consecutive trading session to 2.537%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.480% on Monday. The U.S. gold price traded lower overnight, falling 0.5% to close at 1,312.60 US$/oz.
European stocks closed higher for a fifth session in a row, as upbeat German economic data and a major strategic move by French telecom Altice cheered investors. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.4% to end at 400.11, notching a fresh 2 1/2-year high and closing above 400 for the first time since mid-2015. On Monday, the index rose 0.3%. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 index added 0.1% to finish at 13,385.59, staying around a two-month high. France's CAC 40 was up 0.7% at 5,523.94 for a 10-year closing high, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.5% to end at 7,731.02 for a fresh record close.
It was another day of records for Asian stocks as the start-of-year global rally continued. In Japan, investors returned from a three-day weekend and caught up with the bulls, with the Nikkei climbing to a fresh 26-year high. Elsewhere, the Hang Seng topped 31000 for the first time since 2007 and notched a record-tying 11th-straight gain. Meanwhile, fresh multiyear highs were also seen in Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia while records were seen in India, the Philippine and Vietnam. Korea's Kospi faded into the close as index heavyweight Samsung Electronics declined in the afternoon. Taiwan's Taiex rebounded late to finish with a 0.86-point drop; it earlier hit another 28-year high.
A late-afternoon pullback cut into Australian stock gains but didn't prevent the S&P/ASX 200 from notching another 10-year closing high. The index ended at session lows, rising 0.1% to 6135.8 while rising for a fifth-straight day. Resource stocks outperformed, with BHP climbing 1.7% and Oil Search advancing 1%, while banks were mostly higher again. Meanwhile, Woodside Petroleum gained 0.8% despite Citi questioning whether the company achieved its 2017 production target following outages at the Wheatstone gas-export project in December.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded lower overnight, slipping 0.3% to finish at $7,102/t. The other base metals finished mostly lower. Aluminium prices lost 1.1% to close at 2,135/t, whilst Lead prices fell 2.2% to close at 2,555/t. Zinc prices slipped 1.6% to close at 3,351/t, whilst Tin prices closed down 0.2% at 19,976/t. Nickel prices bucked the trend, adding 1.2% to close at 12,642/t.
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