OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open higher. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open up 45 points.
Microsoft is targeting the so-called “hybrid-cloud,” which allows companies to shift some computing to cloud services while maintaining control of sensitive data.
First Horizon National Corp. is buying Iberiabank Corp. in all-stock merger, forming a combined organization with $75 billion in assets.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares tracked gains across the region, overcoming the drag of lower banking stocks as investors reacted positively to signs that the U.S. and China can settle their trade dispute.
Driven by mining stocks, the S&P/ASX 200 settled 0.3% higher at 6686.9. BHP advanced 2.2%, Rio Tinto added 3.5% and Fortescue Metals gained 4.2%. Energy, industrials and health-care also added their support, but the financials subindex was down 0.8% in the wake of weak full-year earnings from Westpac that accompanied a dividend cut and capital raise.
National Australia Bank sank 2.5%, Commonwealth Bank lost 1.5% and ANZ shed 0.9%, while Westpac shares were halted for the capital raising.
Stocks jumped toward new highs intraday, lifted by rallying bank and energy shares and optimism on progress on U.S.-China trade negotiations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 109 points, or 0.4%, to 27456, heading toward its first closing record since July. The S&P 500 added 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.6%, both on track to post fresh closing highs.
After drifting along in a narrow range for months, major indexes have climbed to record territory in recent days. Earnings, while mixed, have mostly proved to be better than investors had feared, and economic data also have shown resilience by U.S. consumers.
Gold futures ended slightly lower, with U.S. benchmark stock indexes on track to notch record levels and dulling demand for haven gold.
The yellow metal, however, held ground above the key $1,500 level for third straight session as commodity investors harbor doubts about U.S. economic vitality.
Gold for December delivery on Comex inched down by 30 cents, or 0.02%, to settle at $1,511.10 an ounce after notching a 0.4% weekly advance based on the most-active contracts. In other commodity markets, December wheat prices fell 6 1/4 cents to $5.09 3/4.
U.S. oil prices end 0.6% higher at $56.54 on rising expectations some type of trade deal between the U.S. and China will be reached that could boost global gross domestic product and increase worldwide oil demand.
The rally in European stocks continued, with equities finishing at their best level in more than four years. Up for four straight weeks, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1% to 403.41, the best close since April 15, 2015.
Though details remain unclear, stocks have been buoyed by positive headlines regarding U.S.-China trade talks.
The German DAX leaped 1.35% to 13136.28, which was the highest closing level since Jan. 23, 2018. The French CAC 40 jumped 1.08% to 5824.30 and the U.K. FTSE 100 gained 0.92% to 7369.69.
Stocks in London closed higher as global equity markets got a boost from positive trade hopes. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross noted that the trading relationship between the U.S. and the EU is moving in the right direction and said there might not be a need to impose tariffs on EU vehicles.
For some time, there was concern that President Trump would treat the EU in the same way that it has been treating China, especially with regards to tariffs, but comments from Mr. Ross have raised hopes that an trade war between the two will be avoided, boosting European equity markets and driving stocks higher.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 1.7% and South Korea’s Kospi index rallied 1.4%, as U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that the world’s two largest economies are making “good progress” on a phase-one accord, and that licenses for U.S. companies to do business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies will be coming “very shortly.”
South Korean stocks rose for the third consecutive session, with the benchmark Kospi closing up 1.4% at 2130.24. Construction and technology firms led the gains on a robust U.S. jobs report and U.S.-China talks, Samsung Securities said.
Hong Kong stocks closed higher, in line with their mainland peers. The Hang Seng Index ended 1.7% higher at 27547.30, with only two of its constituents falling.
Singapore shares closed higher, tracking other Asian markets. The FTSE Straits Times Index ended 0.2% higher at 3236.20. Property stocks were among the best performers on the index.
And Indian shares logged their sixth-straight session of gains, with the benchmark Sensex closing at a new high, supported by gains in metals and mining stocks and some financial shares. The BSE Sensex ended 0.3% higher at 40301.96, beating its June 3 close.