Asian stocks set to rise as drug trials, data push Wall Street higher
By Katanga Johnson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Asian stocks were set to climb on Wednesday after another late Wall Street surge in response to upbeat trial results for a COVID-19 treatment and data showing U.S. consumers spent big in May. The prospects of fresh support from the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan also supported global equity markets.
By Katanga Johnson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Asian stocks were set to climb on Wednesday after another late Wall Street surge in response to upbeat trial results for a COVID-19 treatment and data showing U.S. consumers spent big in May.
The prospects of fresh support from the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan also supported global equity markets.
"It was a trifecta of positives today," said Jeffrey Carbone, a partner at North Carolina-based Cornerstone Wealth, referring to the U.S. data, drug trials and central bank promises.
The upbeat sentiment weighed of U.S. Treasuries and supported demand for lower-rated southern European debt. Not everyone was in the mood for risk, however, with safe-have gold pushed higher on news of a fresh coronavirus outbreak in China.[GOL/]
"We got potentially more positive news in the fight against COVID-19 ," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina. "But while COVID is in most people's minds, in the stock market's view it is all about reopening and the strong data suggest the recovery is happening and faster than most expected."
At the beginning of his two-day testimony before Congress, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said a full recovery was unlikely until the public is confident the disease had been contained.
In Asia, Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures <.HSI> <.HSIc1> were down 0.3%.
U.S. retail sales jumped a record 17.7% in May, blowing past the 8% increase analysts expected and supporting views the U.S. recession might be drawing to an end.
Also cheering investors were trial results showing dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, reduced death rates by about one-third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 2.0%, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 1.9% and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 1.8%. That followed a broad 3% rally in major European bourses.
The MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 2.2%.
News elsewhere contributed to the bullish sentiment.
Germany's monthly ZEW investor sentiment survey showed investors are confident that Europe's largest economy will be over the worst of the coronavirus impact by the end of the European summer.
The dollar was mostly stronger, with the euro
The British pound rose on unemployment numbers that were not as bad as feared and friendlier Brexit talks.[GBP/]
The BOJ increased its lending packages for cash-strapped firms to $1 trillion from about $700 billion, while keeping rates steady, sticking to its view that the Japanese economy will gradually recover from the pandemic.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes
German, French, Dutch and other core yields also rose. Riskier Italian yields fell to their lowest level since the end of March, and the iTraxx European crossover index, which reflects the cost of insuring against junk-rated corporate bond defaults, fell to its lowest level in six days
(Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Sam Holmes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.