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New Year rally pushes shares higher in Europe, Asia

by January 6, 2018 General

TOKYO — Global markets rose Wednesday, with European shares tracking China-led advances in Asia. Oil prices held steady.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX added 0.4 per cent to 12,924.14 and the CAC 40 of France was up 0.2 per cent at 5,299.80. Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat at 7,647.71. Standard & Poors 500 futures were up 0.2 per cent and Dow futures also rose 0.2 per cent, auguring early gains on Wall Street.

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ASIA’S DAY: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index picked up 0.2 per cent to 30,560.95 and the Shanghai Composite index jumped 0.6 per cent to 3,369.11. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3 per cent to 2,486.35 and the S&P ASX 200 in Australia ticked 0.2 per cent higher to 6,070.40. Shares rose in Taiwan and Singapore but fell in Indonesia. Markets in Japan were closed for New Year holidays but reopen on Thursday.

WALL STREET: Technology and health care companies jumped Tuesday as U.S. stocks started the new year the same way they spent the last one: rising steadily and setting records. Energy companies, which struggled in 2017, also climbed. The Nasdaq composite busted through another milestone as it closed above 7,000 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index 0.8 per cent to a record 2,695.81. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.4 per cent to 24,824.01 and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1.5 per cent to 7,006.90. The Russell 2000 index, which consists of smaller company stocks, gained 0.9 per cent to 1,550.51, also a new high.

ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “U.S. investors put their money where their mouth is, starting the year with a confidence-boosting rally in cyclical stocks. Driven by the co-ordinated global growth theme and no doubt reinforced by tax cuts, last night saw solid gains in US cyclical sectors including consumer discretionary; materials and info tech,” Ric Spooner of CMC Markets said in a commentary.

BITCOIN: The digital currency rose 3.3 per cent to $15,220.10 by 0840 GMT Wednesday, according to Coindesk.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 6 cents to $60.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 5 cents to $60.37 a barrel in New York on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 2 cents to $66.59 per barrel. A rally late in the year sent crude oil to its highest price since June 2015.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.32 yen from 112.29 yen. The euro slipped to $1.2040 from $1.2060.