Sunday, October 24, 2021

World stocks advance on mixed economic data

World stocks were mostly up on Friday as investors assessed a hodge-podge of economic data.

Benchmarks rose in Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong but fell in Sydney. US futures were up, while the 10-year Treasury note yield was steady at 1.33 per cent.

Oil prices retreated from their rally earlier in the week.

US stocks rose early Thursday after reporting surprisingly good retail sales for August. Then came a disappointing report showing that weekly unemployment claims rose more than expected.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each lost about 0.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq managed to gain 0.1 percent.

Investor concerns over the prolonged outbreak of the coronavirus are weighing on sentiment as we await the Federal Reserve’s next steps.

“Overall, the mood in the markets remains a bit weak, with the ‘buy the dip’ approach among investors that has performed so well in the past and is torn between a growing list of economic and market risks,” said Craig Erlam. Oanda said in a comment.

Germany’s DAX rose 0.7 per cent to 15,756.95 while Paris’ CAC 40 rose 0.8 per cent to 6,675.56. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 per cent to 7,044.99. Futures for the S&P 500 and Dow Industrials rose 0.1 percent.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6 per cent to 30,500.05.

In Japan, stocks are trading near a three-decade high in anticipation of a change in leadership after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga withdrew from the race for head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

money trader
A currency trader walks past a screen displaying the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), (L), and the foreign exchange rate between the US dollar and the South Korean, in a forex dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 2021. (Lee Jin-man / AP Photo)

Suga’s support rating was lowered amid widespread public discontent with his administration’s response to the pandemic.

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LDP MPs and grassroots members will vote on September 29, with parliamentary elections to be held next month.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2 percent to 24,723.57, recovering from losses at the start of the week. In Seoul, the Kospi closed 0.1 per cent higher at 3,132.76.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2 per cent to 3,613.97, while the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney was down 0.8 per cent to 7,403.70.

The US Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 0.7 percent last month. Economists had expected a 0.85 percent contraction, arguing that spending may have fallen as the highly contagious delta version of COVID-19 prompts consumers to pull back on purchases.

Markets are choppy as investors move money between different sectors while parsing the data for clues about where the economy is going and how the Federal Reserve will react.

The central bank will meet next week, and investors will be listening closely for any comment on when and how much it will reduce support for lower interest rates, which have helped fuel gains for stocks throughout the year.

In other trade, US benchmark crude oil fell 38 cents to $72.23 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It remained unchanged overnight at $72.61 a barrel.

Brent crude, the standard for international pricing, fell 32 cents to $75.35 a barrel.

The dollar rose from 109.81 yen to 109.94 Japanese yen late Thursday. The euro rose from $1.1761 to $1.1773.

by Elaine Kurtenbach

The Associated Press

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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