OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open flat. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open down 8 points.
China offered its most positive message in recent weeks that trade talks with the U.S. were going smoothly after a phone call between the countries’ top negotiators, raising the prospects for a limited deal sought by both nations.
Federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into whether pharmaceutical companies intentionally allowed opioid painkillers to flood communities, employing laws normally used to go after drug dealers.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares extended their run, supported by broad gains on investor hopes the U.S. and China are nearing a trade deal, as well as a rebound by Westpac. Up for a third straight session, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.8% to 6787.5, with all industry subindexes except the consumer discretionary sector logging gains.
Westpac led the major banks with a rise of 1.7% on news its CEO and chairman are departing, snapping a four-session drop that cut 8% from its value. Caltex Australia rallied 13% after receiving an A$8.6 billion takeover offer from Canada’s Couche-Tard.
U.S. stocks drifted higher intraday, as rising shares of consumer companies and real-estate firms nudged all three major indexes toward a new set of records.
Shares of Best Buy led the S&P 500 higher after the consumer-electronics retailer boosted its forecast for the crucial holiday-shopping season and reported a solid sales gain for the previous quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points, or 0.1%, to 28104 in recent trading. The S&P 500 rose 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2%.
Gold prices climbed as traders kept an eye on consumer sentiment ahead of the peak holiday shopping season and on U.S.-China trade developments.
Gold for December delivery gained $3.40, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,456.90 an ounce, after initially starting out flat in early trade
European stocks traded mostly higher after an upbeat start to the session on Wall Street. The Stoxx Europe 600, FTSE 100 Index and CAC-40 all rose 0.2%, while the DAX gained 0.02%.
Investors got no new indications of concrete progress in the trade negotiations, though China’s Commerce Ministry reported that Chinese and U.S. officials reached consensus on resolving relevant problems in a phone call. The two sides discussed matters related to their crucial concerns, the ministry said, without elaborating.
The Shanghai Composite Index closed almost flat. Hong Kong stocks closed lower, as the city’s government faces further pressure to address prolonged social unrest after the results of local elections. The Hang Seng Index ended the session 0.3% lower at 26913.92.
Japanese stocks closed higher, with the Nikkei Stock Average up 0.4% at 23373.32. Electronics stocks were among the best performers, with Yaskawa Electric up 1.3%, Sony 2.7% higher and Mitsubishi Electric up 0.2%.
India’s benchmark Sensex ended 0.2% lower at 40821.30, reversing gains earlier in the session that pushed the index to a fresh intraday record.