Global shares mostly higher on hopes for US stimulus

Global shares mostly higher on hopes for US stimulus

Tokyo: Global shares were mostly higher on Thursday on optimism that US stimulus may be coming after all, as President Donald Trump appeared to reverse his earlier decision to halt talks on another economic rescue effort.

France’s CAC 40 edged 0.2% higher in early trading, to 4,893.59. Germany’s DAX gained 0.4% to 12,984.13. Britain’s FTSE 100 added less than 0.1% to 5,947.78.

US shares were set for gains, with the future contract for the Dow industrials up 0.4% at 28,230.0. S&P 500 futures were also up 0.4%, at 3,420.62.

Considerable uncertainty remains, given the rollercoaster swings in investor mood in response to signs from Trump about the stimulus, said Riki Ogawa of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

The on-and-off nature of the fiscal stimulus discussion in the US hardly inspires lasting confidence, Ogawa said in a report, noting such uncertainty will continue through the presidential election campaign, and perhaps even after the vote.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added nearly 1.0% to finish at 23,647.07.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2% to 2,391.96. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.1% to 6,102.00. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2% to 24,193.35. Trading was closed in Shanghai for a holiday.

Analysts say the US election is the one global event market players view as influencing critical policy.

In the meantime, there is consensus among many economists and investors that the economy needs another dose of support following the expiration of weekly jobless benefits and other stimulus Congress approved earlier this year. And so the market’s attention remains fixed on the prospects for more stimulus for the economy from Washington.

However, the pandemic also looms, with concern growing over flaring outbreaks of the coronavirus in Europe, the US and elsewhere.

Germany is seeing a sharp jump in new coronavirus infections, raising fears the pandemic is gaining in a country that so far has coped better than many of its European neighbours.

The British government is mulling fresh restrictions on everyday life in England amid mounting evidence that the measures so far have done little to keep a lid on new coronavirus infections.

France set a grim new record Wednesday, with more than 18,700 new coronavirus infections detected in the past 24 hours.

Caseloads have been surging in places as far flung as Slovakia, Croatia and Sri Lanka, with colder weather and the flu season setting in throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude added 49 cents to 40.44 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up 72 cents to 39.95 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 57 cents to 42.56 a barrel.

The US dollar stood unchanged at 105.98 Japanese yen. The euro cost 1.1765, up slightly from 1.1762. (AP)

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