SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stock markets were higher Thursday as remarks by a European Central Bank board member eased worries about the new Italian government’s spending plans.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent to 5,488.91 and Germany’s DAX gained 0.3 percent to 12,866.20. Europe opened mostly higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 was unchanged at 7,711.47. On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 0.1 percent and that for the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.2 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 0.9 percent to 22,823.26 while the Shanghai Composite Index finished 0.2 percent lower at 3,109.50. South Korea’s Kospi finished up 0.7 percent to 2,470.58 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.8 percent to 31,512.63. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 6,057.30 and India’s Sensex surged just over 1 percent to 35,547.13. Benchmarks rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
EUROPE: The euro rose against the dollar after a European Central Bank board member said policymakers will discuss next week withdrawing its bond-purchasing stimulus, suggesting the ECB wasn’t overly worried about Italian government plans. Peter Praet’s remarks suggested the June 14 meeting would bring hints at the end of the bond purchases. The bank says it will buy 30 billion euros ($35 billion) a month at least through September.
ITALY: The coalition of the euroskeptic 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League party won the second of two parliamentary confidence votes required to begin governing. Financial markets worry its plans to spend more to help the poor might add to Italy’s debt. Premier Giuseppe Conti, a political newcomer, makes his debut in the international arena at this week’s Group of Seven meeting of major industrial nations in Canada.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Overnight market action suggests investor confidence is growing,” said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets in a report. He said gains on reports the ECB would review unwinding its stimulus indicated “belief that the economic drivers of higher interest rates were sufficiently strong to sustain asset prices.”
CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.1817 from $1.1775. The dollar halted its rise against the Japanese yen, weakening to 109.97 yen from 110.18 yen.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 20 cents to $64.93 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It shed 1.2 percent to settle at $64.73 the previous session. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 34 cents to $75.71 per barrel in London. The contract lost 2 cents on Wednesday to settle at $75.36.
Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, June 7:
1. U.S. Stocks Set For Positive Open As June Rally Continues
U.S. stock futures pointed to more gains at the open, as an impressive start to June looked set to continue.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 5 points, less than 0.1%, which would put the benchmark on track to open at a fresh record high.
The moves in pre-market trade followed a strong session Wednesday, which saw the Dow close above 25,000 for the first time since mid-March, while the Nasdaq registered its third straight record closing high.
After just four trading days in June, each of the major indexes is up more than 2% for the month.
Elsewhere, in Europe, most of the continent’s major bourses traded higher during mid-morning hours, with almost every sector trading in positive territory.
Earlier, Asian markets rose to a fresh 2-1/2-month high, tracking strong overnight gains on Wall Street.
2. Quiet Day For Data, Earnings
The economics and earnings calendars are fairly quiet, as they’ve been for most of the week, with the weekly report on initial jobless claims, as well as the Fed’s latest report on household net worth, highlights on the economics side.
And on the earnings calendar, notable reports out Thursday will include results from JM Smucker (NYSE:SJM) and Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) ahead of the opening bell, while Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) and Stitch (NASDAQ:SFIX) are due to release their latest earnings after the close.
3. Dollar On Track For Fourth Straight Loss
The dollar continued lower for the fourth day in a row, as concerns about trade frictions stayed in the forefront ahead of the Group of Seven leaders weekend summit.
The dollar index was off almost 0.4% to 93.27, the lowest since May 17.
With a lack of major economic reports and earnings news, markets are likely to turn their attention to the upcoming G7 summit in Canada, where the topic of trade is expected to be of key importance.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said late on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump would meet French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 summit this week.
Although Kudlow said Trump would not back down from the tough line he has taken on trade, the comments appeared to calm investors.
4. Euro Continues Rally On ECB Tapering Bets
The euro gained further ground, building on the previous day’s gains, amid rising bets the European Central Bank (ECB) may announce it will wind down its stimulus program by year-end as early as next week.
EUR/USD was up around 0.5% to 1.1825, the highest level since May 16.
Sovereign bond yields across the single currency bloc also continued higher, as investors grow confident that higher interest rates are underway.
The central bank’s chief economist Peter Praet, a close ally of President Mario Draghi, said the ECB would debate next week whether to end bond purchases later this year.
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 thought uncertainty caused by a political crisis in Italy could make policymakers cautious about indicating an end to stimulus at its policy meeting next week.
5. Oil Prices Tick Higher Amid Venezuela Supply Woes
Oil prices rose to shake off some of the previous session’s losses, supported by plunging exports by OPEC-member Venezuela.
Venezuela’s state-owned PdVSA is reportedly considering declaring force majeure on some contracts with crude oil buyers, essentially declaring they cannot be fulfilled as output from its oil fields has tanked and bottlenecks are slowing down exports at the ports.
Brent crude futures were up 31 cents, or 0.4%, to $75.69 a barrel.
Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude was up 16 cents, or 0.3%, at $64.89 a barrel, sitting around its lowest since April 9, as concerns over a jump in U.S. oil inventories and record weekly domestic production weighed.