Stock market today: Global shares climb, tracking advance on Wall Street

Stock market today: Global shares climb, tracking advance on Wall Street

World shares advanced on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street gains as markets there reopened for what’s expected to be a quiet, holiday-shortened week of trading.

The future contract for the S&P 500 added less than 0.1% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.1% lower.

European shares opened steady in the first trading day after the holiday. Germany’s DAX added 0.3% to 16,754.87. In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.4% to 7,597.52. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.7% to 7,749.36.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index added 1.2% to 33,681.24 as details of a policy meeting by the Bank of Japan showed officials divided about the timing and need to shift away from the central bank’s longstanding lax monetary policy.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.8% to 16,627.00 and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.5% to 2,914.61 with Chinese video gaming companies, including Tencent and NetEase, recouping losses in the first Hong Kong trading session after the government attempted to alleviate market fears about draft guidelines to impose controls over how companies earn money from games. However, the gains were dwarfed by the losses from a broad sell-off on Friday.

NetEase’s Hong Kong-traded shares gained 11.9%, after its Nasdaq-listed stock added 5.2% on Tuesday. Tencent’s were up 4.0% in Hong Kong and Bilibili added 6.7%.

The Kospi in Seoul was up 0.4% to 2,613.50. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.8% higher at 7,561.20.

Bangkok’s SET dropped less than 0.1% and the Sensex in Mumbai climbed 0.5%.

Tuesday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.4% to 4,774.75, finishing less than 0.5% below its all-time high set nearly two years ago. The benchmark index is coming off eight straight weekly gains, its longest winning streak since 2017.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 37,545.33, while the Nasdaq composite ended 0.5% higher to 15,074.57.

Trading was relatively light as U.S. markets reopened following the Christmas Day holiday. Still, the latest gains were widespread, with advancers outnumbering decliners by nearly 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange.

With less than a week to go in 2024, the S&P 500 is now up more than 24% for the year, while the Nasdaq is up 44%.

Investors have been encouraged by reports showing inflation is on the decline even as the economy appears stronger than expected.

The Federal Reserve is walking a tightrope, seeking to slow the economy enough through elevated interest rates to cool inflation, but not so much that it tips the nation into recession.

In other trading early Wednesday, U.S. benchmark crude oil added 3 cents to $75.60 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, picked up 10 cents to $80.95 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 142.53 Japanese yen from 142.38 yen. The euro rose to $1.1049 from $1.1044.

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