World Economy

World Stocks Inch Up for Fifth Day

Singapore shares closed marginally higher settling at its highest in 31 months.Singapore shares closed marginally higher settling at its highest in 31 months.

Global shares were within a whisker of another record high on Wednesday as markets traded on expectations of a third US interest rate hike of the year, and waited to hear from the Federal Reserve how many more are likely in 2018.

Solid gains in Asia overnight had inched MSCI’s 47-country world index up for a fifth day running and while the pre-Fed anticipation meant Europe’s main bourses were barely budged, there was action elsewhere, Reuters reported.

A technical glitch on futures markets made for a stuttering start to European government bond trading, while the dollar was down against the yen, pound and euro after President Donald Trump saw his already-wafer thin US Senate majority cut further.

It fell as far as 113.12 yen as Democrat Doug Jones won a bitter fight for a senate seat in deeply conservative Alabama, in a race marked by sexual misconduct accusations against Republican candidate Roy Moore.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rival currencies, was down 0.15% at 93.990, pulling away a high of 94.219 touched on Tuesday, which was its highest since Nov. 14.

Against the euro it dipped to $1.175, while the 10-year treasury yield stood at 2.408% after falling to a session low of 2.389% after the Alabama election news.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.5%, while South Korean shares gained 0.8% and Hong Kong jumped 1.5%. Japan’s Nikkei stock index finished 0.5% lower however, pressured by the stronger yen and shrugging off upbeat economic data that showed Japanese core machinery orders rose a more-than-expected 5% in October.

Investor sentiment in Southeast Asia got a boost after Manila-based Asian Development Bank raised its economic growth estimate for developing Asia to 6% for this year from 5.9%, citing stronger-than-expected exports and China’s resilience.

Southeast Asian stock markets had gained 5.8% to 39% so far this year as of Wednesday’s close, with Vietnam emerging as the top performer. Singapore shares closed marginally higher after declining as much as 0.4% earlier in the day settling at its highest in 31 months.

Malaysian shares climbed 0.5% to close at their highest in over one month. Philippine shares ended 0.3% higher, led by consumer staple and telecom stocks. Vietnam shares gave up early gains to close 0.3% lower, with Vietcombank declining 1.6%.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints