BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks markets followed Wall Street higher Wednesday ahead of a meeting of major industrialized economies overshadowed by tension over U.S. steel tariffs.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 7,706.16 points while France’s CAC 40 edged up 5 points to 5,465.64. Germany’s DAX lost 3.6 points to 12,781.79. On Tuesday, the DAX gained 0.1 percent while the CAC 40 dipped 0.2 percent and the FTSE 100 dropped 0.7 percent. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3 percent while that for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 0.1 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to 22,625.73 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 6,025.10. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.4 percent to 31,222.77 while the Shanghai Composite Index added 1 point to 3,115.18. India’s Sensex advanced 0.6 percent to 35,113.28 and benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand, Bangkok and Manila also rose. South Korean markets were closed for a holiday.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks mostly rose, helped by gains for technology companies and retailers as up-and-down trading related to trade tensions gave way to smaller moves. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.2 percent to 2,748.80 while the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1 percent to 24,799.98. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent. Smaller retailers did especially well following strong first-quarter results. Amazon and Macy’s also rose.
G7: Leaders of the Group of Seven meet Friday amid criticism that President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes on steel and aluminum will undermine trade and weaken confidence in the global economy. Finance ministers of the other six governments expressed “concern and disappointment” over Trump’s moves in a statement last weekend. Allies including Canada and the European Union are threatening retaliatory tariffs.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Between the geopolitical cloud that looms and the sustained growth momentum, global equity markets trudged on in a tepid pace,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. Pan noted “renewed confidence” in information technology and forecasts of double-digit second quarter earnings growth. “The focus lies ahead with the bout of geopolitical development that could unfold with the G7 meeting amid a light midweek.”
TRADE: Mexico announced duties of 15 to 25 percent on imports from the United States including pork, steel tubes and bourbon in response to Trump’s tariff hike. The government said it would waive tariffs on pork from other countries to ensure adequate supplies.
AUSTRALIA GDP: Australia’s economic output grew by 1 percent in the quarter ending in March, above consensus forecasts of 0.9 percent.
ITALIAN POLITICS: Italy’s new government won the first of two confidence votes needed to take power after its leader denounced Europe’s immigration policy and warned his Cabinet would renegotiate Italy’s fiscal obligations to help struggling Italians. Financial markets are uneasy the 5-Star-League alliance’s promises of higher welfare spending and other changes will increase Italy’s debt burden. In his inaugural policy address, Premier Giuseppe Conte said Italy was committed to reducing its public debt but won’t do so through austerity measures.
MALAYSIAN CENTRAL BANK: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accepted the resignation of Malaysia’s central bank amid a corruption investigation into the previous government. Muhammad Ibrahim gave no reason for quitting halfway through his five-year term. His departure was not expected to have any effect on monetary policy.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 16 cents to $65.68 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 77 cents on Tuesday to close at $65.52. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 56 cents to $75.94 per barrel in London. The contract was 6 cents higher the previous session to close at $75.38.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 110.05 yen from Tuesday’s 109.79 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1763 from $1.1715.
Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, June 6:
1. U.S. Stocks Set For Positive Open
U.S. stock futures pointed to more gains at the open, as investors looked ahead to a fresh batch of economic data and corporate earnings, while continuing to monitor global trade developments.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 15 points, or 0.2%, which would put the benchmark on track to open at a fresh record high.
The earnings calendar will be fairly quiet with no major companies set to report results, though investors will get quarterly updates from Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA), Ascena Retail (NASDAQ:ASNA), Verifone Systems (NYSE:PAY), and Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA).
Elsewhere, in Europe, most of the continent’s major bourses inched higher in mid-morning trade, though Italian stocks pulled lower amid a rise in borrowing costs in Europe’s third-biggest economy.
Earlier, Asian markets closed higher, as regional tech stocks advanced on the back of gains in their U.S. counterparts overnight.
2. U.S.-China Trade, NAFTA Developments Remain In Focus
Despite the apparent improvement in market sentiment, trade-related concerns lingered.
China has offered to purchase almost $70 billion in U.S. agriculture and energy products from the U.S. if the latter held off on imposing tariffs against Chinese imports.
With China signaling that it is open to trade negotiations, it remained to be seen what the Trump administration’s next move would be following the trade-related threats it had made.
The world’s two largest economies have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs in recent months, leading to worries that Washington and Beijing may engage in a full-scale trade war that could damage global growth and roil markets.
The U.S. is also involved in trade discussions with Canada and Mexico. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on Tuesday said that President Donald Trump was considering separate negotiations with the two countries. It was not clear if such a move would bring an end to the trilateral NAFTA.
3. U.S. Trade Data Ahead
Staying on the topic, market participants will pay close attention to monthly trade figures due out this morning, as they seek to gauge if there has been any impact on trade activity from the recent trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
The U.S. Commerce Department will release international trade data for April at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT). The deficit is forecast to widen to $50.0 billion, from $49.0 billion in March. Export and import data will also likely attract attention.
Also on the economic calendar will be the final reading on worker productivity in the first quarter, which is expected to rise 0.6% during the first three months of the year.
Data released Tuesday showed that service-sector activity rose to a three-year high last month, while job openings hit a record peak.
The upbeat data added to a recent string of better-than-expected economic reports, including last week’s good news on job growth and the manufacturing sector, that have suggested economic growth was regaining speed early in the second quarter.
The dollar index was off almost 0.2% to 93.69.
4. ECB To Debate End Of QE Next Week
The European Central Bank is increasingly confident that inflation is rising back to its target and will next week debate whether to gradually unwind bond purchases, the central bank’s chief economist Peter Praet told the Congress of Actuaries in Berlin.
The hawkish comments prompted money market investors to price in a roughly 90% chance that the ECB will raise interest rates in July 2019.
This is a change from last week, when investors had scaled back tightening expectations on concerns over an Italian political crisis, and a hike was only being priced in for October 2019.
5. Oil Markets Await Fresh Weekly U.S. Inventory Data
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended June 1 at 10:30AM ET (1430GMT), amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of 1.8 million barrels.
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by 2 million barrels last week.
There are often sharp divergences between the API estimates and the official figures from EIA.
Both benchmarks touched their lowest levels in around two months on Tuesday after a report that the U.S. government had asked Saudi Arabia and other major producers to increase oil output.