Banks propel ASX to gains
Here’s a roundup of all the action in global markets overnight:
US stocks rose on Wednesday after stronger-than-expected US economic growth outweighed concerns about escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea and uncertainty in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The US economy expanded at a 3 per cent annual pace in the June quarter as President Trump pivoted to tax reform.
Adding to the positive sentiment, a report from payroll processor ADP showed that US private employers added 237,000 jobs in August for its biggest monthly increase in five months, above the 183,000 jobs expected by economists.
Financials were among the leading gainers, with Goldman Sachs rising 1.2 per cent, providing the biggest boost to the Dow, as the robust data is expected to strengthen the Federal Reserve’s case for another rate hike this year.
European stocks rose in a relief rally a day after geopolitical concerns caused a sharp dip across equity markets. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.7 per cent higher.
The UK’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.4 per cent, recovering from the biggest drop in almost three weeks on a closing basis. Germany’s DAX Index gained 0.5 per cent.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index closed above 28,000 points for the first time since May 2015 on Wednesday, helped by easing geopolitical tensions as well as signs mainland money continues to flow steadily into the city’s bourse.
China stocks ended flat on Wednesday, as strong gains in airline operators and resources firms were offset by weakness in banking stocks with investors awaiting first-half results for some of the country’s biggest banks.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei, which on Tuesday hit a fourth-month low and ended 0.5 per cent down, climbed 0.7 per cent to 19,506.54. The broader Topix gained 0.6 per cent to 1607.65.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.4 per cent, recovering from the lowest in more than two years. The euro dropped 0.6 per cent to $US1.1896, after touching the strongest in almost three years on Tuesday.