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Reignited ‘Trump trades’ help world stocks hit 19-month high

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World stocks hit a 19-month high on Wednesday, lifted by strong Japanese trade data, stellar European company earnings and hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump will press ahead with a large fiscal spending package.

Spanish bank Santander was among the big gainers in Europe, its 4 percent rise in 2016 net profit giving its share price a similar boost and leading the continent-wide rally in bank stocks.

MSCI’s global share index rose 0.2 percent to 433.59 points, its highest since June 2015, after two of Wall Street’s main indices reached fresh peaks overnight.

Europe’s index of 300 leading shares and Germany’s DAX both rose 1 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.7 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei advanced 1.4 percent, buoyed by data showing the country’s exports rose for the first time in 15 months in December, a positive sign for the economy even as talk of U.S. protectionism looms over the outlook.

U.S. futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street. On Tuesday the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both rose to fresh record highs and the Dow Jones Industrials came within 51 points of the elusive 20,000 mark.

“U.S. stocks have shown renewed signs of life this week, as the market toyed with the idea of reigniting the ‘Trump rally’ that we saw in the aftermath of the presidential election,” said Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index.

Trump signed two executive orders on Tuesday to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, rolling back key Obama administration environmental actions in favor of expanding energy infrastructure.

He also met chief executives of the Big Three U.S. automakers to push for more cars to be built in the United States.

“Wednesday’s key theme is the return of the ‘Trump trade’,” Brooks said.

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