World Economy

Europe, Asia Shares Get Higher

World stocks have risen on French vote relief and Trump tax plan talk.World stocks have risen on French vote relief and Trump tax plan talk.

Shares were higher Tuesday in Europe and Asia as the rally driven by the outcome of France’s vote persisted. Hopes for US tax reform and a compromise on the US budget deadline also lifted sentiment.

France’s CAC 40 edged 0.1% higher to 5,275.32, while the FTSE 100 of Britain jumped 2.1% to 7,264.68. Germany’s DAX was steady at 12,456.89. US shares looked set for gains with Dow futures up 0.2% and S&P futures up 0.1%, AP reported.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.5% to C$1.356 per US dollar after the United States announced new duties of 20-30% on Canadian softwood lumber imports.

French and German 10-year government bond yields rose and the spread between them hit its tightest since November at around 41 basis points. The two-year spread was its narrowest since late January.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6%, hovering near its highest level since June 2015 hit earlier in the session, on its fourth straight day of gains.

These gains helped push MSCI’s world stocks index, comprising shares from 46 countries to a fresh all-time high after chalking up its biggest rise since shortly after Britain’s vote last June to leave the European Union.

Investors were encouraged that Emmanuel Macron, a candidate who investors see as pro-business, got the most votes in the first round of France’s presidential election. That raised expectations that the European Union may hold together, lifting shares in most world markets.

US President Donald Trump promised to release Wednesday the outlines of a tax plan that a senior administration official confirmed would pledge to slash the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.1% to 19,079.33 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 1.3% to 24,455.94. South Korea’s Kospi added 1.1% to 2,196.85 and the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2% at 3,134.57. Shares were higher in Taiwan and mixed in Southeast Asia. The Australian and New Zealand markets were closed for Anzac Day.

Benchmark US crude oil gained 16 cents to $49.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday the contract fell 39 cents to settle at $49.23 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, added 22 cents to $51.82 a barrel. It fell 36 cents to $51.60 per barrel in London.

The euro gained to $1.089 from $1.086. The dollar rose to 110.47 yen from 109.76 yen and the British pound climbed to $1.281 from $1.279.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints