Global shares are mixed after a rally in Asia sputtered out in early European trading.
KEEPING SCORE: European shares fell back after opening mostly higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent to 7,407.33 and Germany’s DAX ticked down a fraction of a percent to 12,645.28. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.5 percent to 5,228.34. Wall Street was poised to open higher. Dow futures were up 0.1 percent to 21,425.00 and the broader S&P 500 futures climbed 0.1 percent to 2,441.30.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.5 percent to close at 20,220.30 and South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.6 percent to 2,395.66. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent to 25,965.42 and the Shanghai Composite added 0.5 percent to 3,188.06. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.1 percent to 5,818.10.
QUOTEWORTHY: “Central bankers have shifted market thinking with apparently coordinated commentary suggesting higher interest rates sooner on the back of strengthening economies,” said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets. “The result is a surge in shares and industrial commodities, and pressure on safe havens such as bonds and the U.S. dollar.”
DATA WATCH: Investors are awaiting the release of China’s official monthly indexes on factory and service sector activity Friday. The numbers are widely watched early indicators of the health of the world’s No. 2 economy and investors will be watching fresh insight into China’s recovery.
SMALL CAP SLUMP: Hong Kong’s small-cap stocks stabilized following a rout that took the board to its lowest ever level this week. The S&P/HKEX Growth Enterprise Market index rose 0.7 percent for the day but is down 11 percent for the week. The sell-off comes after regulators unveiled plans to tighten up listing requirements for small companies going public. It follows a report last month by investor activist David Webb that highlighted 50 companies in a complex web of cross-shareholdings that artificially inflated share prices.
STRESS TESTS: The Federal Reserve gave its blessing to the 34 biggest U.S. banks, judging for the first time in seven years of annual “stress tests” that their financial foundations were strong enough for them to withstand a major economic downturn. The ruling means the banks can raise dividends and buy back shares and is a sign of confidence in an industry that nearly toppled the financial system during the 2008-09 financial crisis.
ENERGY: Oil futures extended gains, with benchmark U.S. crude adding 37 cents to $45.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 50 cents, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $44.74 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 42 cents to $47.96 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.60 from 112.30 yen late Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1425 from $1.1379.