International markets roundup

A roundup of trading on major world markets.

NEW YORK - US stocks have risen after Federal Reserve meeting minutes lifted confidence the US central bank would not move quickly to hike interest rates.

At Thursday's closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,050.75, up 138.46 points (0.82 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 17.60 points (0.88 per cent) to 2,013.43, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 19.64 points (0.41 per cent) to 4,810.79.

Minutes from the Fed's September 16-17 meeting emphasised policy maker concerns about the slowing global economy, led by China, and the drag of the stronger dollar on the US.

The Fed decided at that meeting against hiking rates.

The minutes "were certainly not suggesting the Fed may raise its rates anytime soon and reminded that the Fed is cognisant of the challenges around the world," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.

LONDON - Europe's main stock markets have pushed their way higher for a fifth straight session.

The Bank of England revealed on Thursday it would keep its main interest rate at the record-low 0.5 per cent, where it has stood for six-and-a-half years to support growth.

While both the Fed and BoE are looking to raise interest rates amid expectations of higher inflation in the US and Britain, a slowdown in China has put pressure on central bankers to delay any hikes to borrowing costs.

European stock markets have risen in recent days, supported by expectations that the Federal Reserve will hold off from hiking US interest rates until at least next year in the wake of disappointing jobs data in the world's biggest economy.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed up 0.61 per cent to 6,374.82 points compared with Wednesday's close.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 climbed 0.23 per cent to end at 9,993.07 points and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.18 per cent to finish at 4,675.91 points.

HONG KONG - Chinese shares have surged as dealers returned from a week-long break that saw a global advance, but a regional rally mostly petered out, with Tokyo ending a six-day winning streak.

Most emerging market currencies retreated on Thursday afternoon, with traders picking up profits as a rally over the past week - fuelled by waning expectations of a US interest rate - ran out of steam.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.97 per cent, or 90.58 points, to 3,143.36.

But in Hong Kong the benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 0.71 per cent, or 160.85 points, to 22,354.91 a day after surging more than three per cent.

The Nikkei-225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 181.81 points to 18,141.17.

Market Data

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