Australia Markets closed

International markets roundup

NEW YORK: Wall Street's main indexes have marched higher, driven by gains in Wal-Mart and technology shares, while investors await a vote on the Republican tax bill.

Wal-Mart surged as much as 9.10 per cent to hit a record high of $US98.01 after reporting US same-store sales that beat expectations on hurricane-related purchases and soaring online sales.

Cisco soared 6.3 per cent after the company's profit forecast came in above estimates, boosting the S&P technology index.

The Republican-controlled US Congress is approaching a major test of its ability to overhaul tax code, as lawmakers prepare for their first full-scale vote on sweeping tax legislation.

US House Speaker Paul Ryan told Fox News he was confident his chamber had the votes to pass its version of the plan. A vote was expected early on Thursday afternoon.

The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street's fear gauge, posted its first decline in six days.

In late afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.86 per cent at 23,471.95, the S&P 500 was up 0.90 per cent at 2,587.59 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.38 per cent, at 6,798.52.

LONDON: The UK's top share index steadied on Thursday as a handful of earnings updates were in focus and GKN plunged on uncertainty following the ditching of its CEO designate.

GKN said its CEO-designate Kevin Cummings was leaving the engineering firm after the aerospace division he used to run took a surprise writedown.

The shares were down 7.7 per cent, after falling as much as 12 per cent to their lowest level in 16 months.

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.19 per cent at 7,386.94.

European shares enjoyed a recovery on Thursday, snapping their longest losing streak since October 2016 as the cyclical sectors which had driven a market-wide sell-off made a comeback.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index climbed 0.4 per cent, with the cyclicals-heavy DAX up 0.55 per cent at 13,047.22.

Financial services, autos and technology sectors were among the best-performing, driving the market higher while recovering oil prices also helped support energy stocks.

TOKYO: Asian shares shrugged off Wall Street losses and a lacklustre start to rally on Thursday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.7 per cent while, Japan's Nikkei reversed early losses and surged 1.47 per cent to close at 22,351.12 as investors hunted for bargains after a six-day losing streak

Hong Kong stocks firmed, helped by index heavyweight Tencent Holdings, which climbed to a record closing high after posting solid third-quarter results.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.58 per cent, to 29,018.76 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1.1 per cent, to 11,533.96 points.

Shares of Chinese internet giant Tencent rose more than 2 per cent, as Asia's most valuable company beat expectations by reporting a 69 per cent jump in quarterly net profit.

China's blue-chip index snapped a two-day losing streak, aided by strong gains in consumer and real estate firms.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.77 per cent, to 4,105.01 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.1 per cent to 3,399.25 points.

WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 0.4 per cent to 8034.7.