Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks crept higher Tuesday, as investors largely shrugged off Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's remarks before Congress and kept their focus on the U.K.'s coming vote on European Union membership. Markets have moved in tandem with polls around Britain's referendum, which have triggered steep movements in equities, bonds and currencies around the world. In the past week, stock markets have fallen sharply when polls tilted toward an exit vote, and rebounded just as quickly when they veered toward "remain." Portfolio managers said many investors, having positioned themselves weeks in advance, are waiting on the results of Thursday's vote before making any significant moves.
European stocks finished higher for a third session in a row Tuesday as investors bet the U.K. will vote to remain in the European Union in Thursday's key referendum. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.7% to close at 340.04 after darting between small losses and gains. The index on Monday rallied 3.7%, its largest rise in nearly 10 months. Monday's sharp advance came after two weekend polls indicated growing support for the U.K. to stay in the European Union, ahead of a referendum on the issue on Thursday.
Shares in Asia mostly rose Tuesday, as investors bet that the U.K. would vote to remain in the European Union. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ended up 1.3% and Korea's Kospi gained 0.1%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended up 0.8%, while China's Shanghai Composite Index bucked the region, dropping 0.4%. Growing relief that the U.K. might stay in the EU propelled U.S. stocks higher overnight, with the sentiment spilling over into Asia on Tuesday. Investors in Asia were paying close attention to the British vote in view of a data-light week for regional economic news. In early Asian trading hours, the Japanese yen veered close to a 22-month high against the U.S. dollar–stubbornly strong despite general relief over lower chances of a Brexit.
Australian shares pushed higher Tuesday as worries about Britain's vote this week on whether to remain in the European Union continued to ebb. It was a third straight daily rise for local stocks as they rebounded from a run lower on heightened concerns about global growth and the risk financial markets would be roiled if the U.K. votes Thursday to exit the EU. Despite declines in resources stocks, advances in other sectors helped the S&P/ASX 200 to finish 17.6 points, or 0.3%, higher at 5274.4. The index has risen almost 130 points over the past three days.
Copper futures closed up in London, as greater investor risk appetite for Brexit uncertainty supported demand for the metal. The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract was up 0.6% at $4,670 a ton at the PM kerb close, having hit a four-day high earlier in the session at $4,675 a ton. Among the other base metals, aluminium closed up 0.1% at $1,626 a ton, zinc was up 0.9% at $2,018 a ton, nickel was down 1% at $9,145 a ton, and lead was down 0.8% at $1,702 a ton.
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