World Shares Rise On Global Growth Hopes, US Shutdown's End
HONG KONG (AP) — World stock markets rose Tuesday, led by strong gains in Asia, as an upbeat forecast for global economic growth and the end of the U.S. government shutdown helped lift sentiment.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX climbed 0.6 percent to 13,548 and France's CAC 40 was flat at 5,540. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 7,734. Wall Street was poised to open flat. Dow futures were roughly unchanged and the broader S&P 500 futures were down 0.1 percent.
GLOBAL GROWTH: The International Monetary Fund upgraded its outlook for the world economy, estimating that the world economy expanded at a 3.7 percent annual pace last year, the fastest since 2011. It forecast that growth will accelerate to 3.9 percent in 2018-19. The IMF noted surprisingly strong growth in Europe and Asia and predicted that U.S. tax cuts will give the American economy a short-term boost.
SHUTDOWN: President Donald Trump signed a bill ending the U.S. federal government shutdown after nearly three days. Democrats agreed to a stopgap funding measure in exchange for Republican promises to resume debates on immigration and other issues. The agreement helped boost Wall Street though its effect on the dollar was minimal.
THE QUOTE: "Investors are likely to ignore the overstretched valuations and continue moving with the flow," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM. "Many factors are likely to keep fueling the rally including, positive earnings, merger and acquisition deals, and the upsurge in global growth. The IMF joined the party" with its upgraded forecast, he added.
BANK OF JAPAN: Policymakers did not make any changes to the Japanese central bank's unprecedented monetary stimulus even though growth in Asia's second-biggest economy has ticked higher. Bank of Japan officials opted at their latest policy meeting to stick with massive asset purchases and negative interest policy aimed at spurring inflation even as their counterparts in the U.S. and Europe have begun dialing back their stimulus programs.
TARIFFS: Trump approved tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines, in a move aimed at helping U.S. manufacturers. The tariffs, aimed at cheaper imports from rival makers in places like China and South Korea, raise the threat of a trade war between the U.S. and Asia. The companies that sought the tariffs said 30 U.S. solar-manufacturing facilities shut in the past five years as China flooded the global market with cheap products. China said the move was an abuse of trade remedies.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.3 percent to close at 24,124.15 and South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.4 percent to 2,536.60. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.7 percent to 32,930.70 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China climbed 1.3 percent to 3,546.50. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.8 percent to 6,037.00. Indexes in Taiwan and Southeast Asian also rose.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 110.50 yen from 110.93 yen in late trading Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.2251 from $1.2263.
ENERGY: Oil futures extended gains. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $63.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 26 cents on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 24 cents to $69.27 a barrel in London.
-By Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer