Stock market rally fades ahead of US holiday

BEIJING, China – The rally in global stock markets, which saw the Dow close above 19,000 for the first time, petered out on Wednesday as investors prepared for a holiday in the U.S.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 per cent to 6,636 while Germany’s DAX shed 0.6 per cent to 10,655. France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.4 per cent to 4,529. On Wall Street, the futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index were both unchanged, a day after the Dow closed above the 19,000 mark for the first time. The U. S. markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving holiday.

WALL STREET: U.S. markets have been the focus since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, which many investors bet will be positive for companies. They expect less regulation of financial services and possibly tax cuts as well as spending on infrastructure. He has affirmed plans to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership but avoided mentioning his campaign pledge to build a wall along the Mexican border. “As Trump has rowed back and not mentioned some of his more extreme policy sound bites, some worries about the nature of his presidency may have begun to abate,” Alex Furber of CMC Markets said in a report. That has helped U.S. indexes hit record highs, with the Dow surpassing 19,000 for the first time and closing at a record high six times in the two weeks.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “The bulls have got control here,” Chris Weston of IG said in a report. “U.S. equity and many other developed markets are going higher, at least in the short-term.” Weston noted investors assume the U.S. Federal Reserve will go ahead with an interest rate hike in December. “Emerging markets have found support and are even attracting buyers,” said Weston. “If the Fed were to assess financial conditions in the wake of a potential rate hike they would be wholly enthused.”

ASIA’S DAY: Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 1.3 per cent to 5,484.40 and Seoul’s Kospi advanced 0.2 per cent to 1,987.95. India’s Sensex gained 0.5 per cent to 26,081.22 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended unchanged at 22,676.69. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.2 per cent to 3,241.14. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Taiwan gained while Indonesia retreated.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 16 cents to $47.87 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 21 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 12 cents to $49.00 in London. The contract added 22 cents the previous session.

CURRENCY: The dollar was roughly steady at 111.21 yen while the euro fell to $1.0615 from Tuesday’s $1.0630.