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February 21, 2024
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Global shares mostly higher, tracking Wall Street rally


Global shares were mostly higher Tuesday after another rally to a record high on Wall Street.

France’s CAC 40 added 0.8% in early trading to 6,765.92, while Germany’s DAX edged up 1.0% to 15,759.82. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.7% to 7,270.40. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures up 0.3% at 35,723.00. S&P 500 futures were up 0.4% at 4,576.25.

Stocks have been pushing broadly higher as companies turn in much stronger profit reports for the summer than analysts had expected. Historically low interest rates, along with strong corporate profit growth, have helped the S&P 500 more than double from the bottom it set in March 2020 in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.8% to finish at 29,106.01. The advance was helped by a 2.6% jump in electronics and entertainment Sony Corp., which is reporting earnings later this week. Sony, which has video game and movie divisions, has seen sales rise as people opted for stay-home entertainment during the pandemic.

Other big gainers included Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, which jumped 5.4% after it upgraded its earnings outlook.

“Sentiments in Asia may largely mirror the stellar performance in Wall Street overnight, while the COVID-19 situation in China remains on watch with control measures being tightened,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

China has reimposed travel restrictions in some areas to combat outbreaks of the virus that are adding to concerns over a slowing economy.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4% to 26,038.27. The Shanghai Composite declined 0.3% to 3,597.64.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.9% to 3,049.08 after the government reported the economy grew at an annual pace of 4%, according to government data. That was slightly weaker than expected. But analysts expect consumer spending to recover as virus cases ease with progress in the country’s vaccine rollout.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost earlier gains to be little changed, inching up less than 0.1% to 7,443.40.

Several of the U.S. market’s most influential stocks are set to report earnings this week, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Because they’re the four biggest companies on Wall Street by market value, their stock movements have a huge effect on the S&P 500.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 45 cents to US$83.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It ended Monday trading unchanged at $83.76 per barrel. Brent crude, the basis for international pricing, fell 38 cents to $85.61 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 114.02 Japanese yen from 113.71 yen. The euro cost $1.1610, inching down from $1.1611.

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