World Economy

Global Stocks Rise

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index edged 0.103% higher by mid-day in Frankfurt, with similar percentage gains for benchmarks around the region.In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index edged 0.103% higher by mid-day in Frankfurt, with similar percentage gains for benchmarks around the region.

Global stock markets followed Wall Street higher Wednesday despite a Chinese tariff hike on US sorghum in a swelling trade dispute with Washington.

In early trading, London's FTSE 100 rose 0.7% to 7,278.02 and France's CAC 40 added 0.5% to 5,379.95. German's DAX advanced 0.3% to 12,630.42. On Tuesday, the DAX climbed 1.6%, the CAC 40 rose 0.8% and the FTSE 100 added 0.4%. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 0.1%, news outlets reported.

In Asia trading, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8% to 3,091.40 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.4% to 22,158.20. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.7% to 30,284.25 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3% to 5,861.40. Seoul's Kospi gained 1.1% to 2,479.98 and India's Sensex edged up 0.1% to 34,435.59. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also rose.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index edged 0.103% higher by mid-day in Frankfurt, with similar percentage gains for benchmarks around the region as investors approached the session with caution after President Donald Trump tweeted last night that he doesn't intend to bring the US back into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, a comment that suggests his two-day summit with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe isn't bringing the two sides closer to an agreement on narrowing the latter's $623 billion US trade surplus, The Street reported.

The FTSE 100, however, gained 0.7% after Britain's inflation rate slowed to the lowest level in a year last month, according to official figures published Wednesday, casting fresh doubt on imminent rate hikes from the Bank of England and sending the pound sharply lower.

Consumer price inflation in the UK, Europe's second-largest economy, slowed to 2.5% in March, the Office for National Statistics said, missing the consensus estimate of 2.7% and sliding to the slowest rate since March 2017. The pound, which traded at the highest levels—1.437—against the US dollar since the June 2016 Brexit vote Tuesday, slipped more than 0.66% to 1.419 in the immediate minutes following the ONS release.

US to Open Higher

US Stocks are set to open higher Wednesday, boosting the Dow Jones Industrial Average past a one-month high, as investors weigh the impact of a strong corporate earnings season but continue to remain concerned over the fate of global economic growth and protectionist trade policies from the White House.

Equity futures prices suggest modest gains for the main US indices later Wednesday, with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 90 points, indicating a 48 point gain for the benchmark after closing 218 points to the upside last night. The broader S&P 500, which gained 1.05% Tuesday, is slated to edge 9.25 points higher at the opening bell.

International Business Machines Corp. shares are on pace for their biggest single-day decline in a year Wednesday, a move that will clip around 50 points from the Dow, after the former tech sector icon reported a weaker-than-expected profit margin in an otherwise solid set of first quarter earnings.

IBM shares were marked 5.28% lower in pre-market trading in New York, indicating an opening bell price of $152.43, a move that would be the stock's biggest one-day slide since last April and take the stock into negative territory for the year.

Other stocks moving in pre-market trading include Morgan Stanley , which popped 1.4% after a stronger-than-expected set of first quarter earnings, and ebay Inc, which surged 4.16% after a double upgrade to 'overweight' from Morgan Stanley analysts Brian Nowak.

Trade Tensions

China imposed preliminary anti-dumping tariffs of 178.6% on US sorghum. The United States told the World Trade Organization it has agreed to discuss with China the Trump administration's tariff increases on steel and other Chinese goods, AP reported.

Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese goods due to disputes over technology policy, market access and Beijing's trade surplus with the United States. China responded with its own list of US goods for retaliation. Investors worry other governments might raise their own import barriers.


Global oil markets resumed their recent rally again Wednesday, with prices fuelled by data from the American Petroleum Institute Tuesday which showed a surprise one million barrel decline in US crude stocks.

Brent futures contracts for June delivery, the global benchmark, were seen 0.65% higher from their Tuesday close in New York and changing hands at $72.01 per barrel while WTI contracts for the same month rose 0.63% to $67.00.


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