US stocks rally on tax plan approval hopes

December 1, 2017

By IFCMarkets

SP 500, Dow end at all-time high

US stocks logged record highs on Thursday on expectations of Senate approval of the tax overhaul bill. The dollar weakened yesterday: the live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, ended 0.17% lower at 93.114. Dow Jones industrial average jumped 1.4% to fresh record 24272.35. The S&P 500 gained 0.8% to all-time high 2647.58 led by energy and financial shares. All 11 main sectors finished higher. The Nasdaq composite index closed up 0.7% to 6873.97.

Treasury yields rose as investors anticipate the Senate approval of Republican tax bill. Positive economic data also supported upbeat market sentiment: the personal consumption expenditure or PCE index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.1% in October. And the core index, excluding volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2%, in line with forecasts. Initial jobless claims fell by 2 thousand to 238 thousand. The inflation report contained no negative surprises, presumably keeping the central bank on track to hike rates in December.


Energy shares weigh on European indices

European stocks ended marginally lower on Thursday dragged by energy shares. Both the euro and British Poundrose against the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 index slipped 0.3%. Germany’s DAX 30 lost 0.3% to 13023.98. France’sCAC 40 fell 0.5% and UK’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.9% to 7326.67. Indices opened mixed today.

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Gains in bank shares helped offset losses after Credit Suisse Group raised its 2018 profit target for its wealth-management and connected business in Asia-Pacific. The bank also said it plans to distribute 50% of profit to shareholders through share buybacks and special dividends. Credit Suisse shares rose 2%.

Asian markets up

Asian stock indices are mostly higher today. Nikkei rose 0.3% to 22795.30 despite renewed yen strength against the dollar. Chinese stocks are rising paring earlier losses: The Shanghai Composite Index is 0.01% higher while Hong Kong’sHang Seng Index is down 0.2%. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index is up 0.3% despite stronger Australian dollar against the greenback.

OPEC extends production cut to end of 2018

Oil futures prices are edging higher today. Prices rose yesterday as OPEC and major producers voted unanimously to extend their oil output cut deal to the end of December 2018. Brent for February settlement rose 0.2% to end the session at $62.63 a barrel on Thursday.

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