German shares near record levels
European stocks rose on Friday, pushing the German DAX towards record highs as signs of progress in U.S. debt ceiling negotiations encouraged investors to pile into riskier assets. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.6 percent, set to end the week with modest gains. Sectors sensitive to the health of the economy such as financial services, miners and construction and materials were the top gainers in Europe. The German DAX rose 0.6 percent after closing at its strongest level of 2023 on Thursday. The index is trading less than 40 points below its all-time high of 16,290.19, hit in November 2021. Wall Street’s S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched their strongest close in over eight months on Thursday, driven by optimism that a U.S. debt ceiling deal could be reached within days.
Nikkei stock average closes at highest point
The Nikkei Stock Average closed at 30,808.35 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, up 234.42 yen, or 0.77 percent, from the previous day, reaching its highest level since August 1990. The average reached its highest point since Japan’s bubble economy collapsed more than 30 years ago, surpassing the previous post-bubble peak of 30,670.10 reached in September 2021. Strong corporate earnings and expectations for improved capital efficiency and shareholder returns are propelling Japanese equities higher, helped by favorable macroeconomic factors such as the cheap yen and continuing monetary easing by the Bank of Japan. Blue-chip shares like fast fashion brand Uniqlo’s operator Fast Retailing and robot manufacturer Fanuc contributed to the gains, both ending the day 2.2 percent higher. The Nikkei average rose from 30,847.36 at the open Friday and touched 30,924.57 soon afterward. The average has been on the upswing for the last six days, topping the 30,000 mark on Wednesday.
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Dow Jones futures: S&P 500 hits 2023 high
Dow Jones futures rose slightly overnight, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. Applied Materials (AMAT) headlined earnings reports Thursday night. The stock market rally continued to advance Thursday amid debt-ceiling deal hopes. Big techs dominated. The Nasdaq composite led, with the Nasdaq 100 powering to a 52-week high. The S&P 500 hit its best levels of the year. Thursday’s gains were top heavy, but the Dow Jones and market breadth were mildly positive. Netflix and Synopsys each leapt 9 percent Thursday and Palantir Technologies rocketed nearly 15 percent, all surging out of bases and past buy zones. Cadence Design Systems made a powerful move and Dynatrace broke out.
Dow Jones: intel pushes index higher
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied to finish higher by 0.3 percent, or 115 points, after earlier falling almost 150 points in intraday trading, fueled partly by optimism that U.S. lawmakers will resolve the debt ceiling standoff. The Dow climbed for the second straight day after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters that the House of Representatives could consider legislation to extend the U.S. debt limit as early as next week, saying negotiations were in a “better place.” The Nasdaq moved up 1.5 percent to reach a 52-week high, while the S&P 500 also moved higher. Intel (INTC) shares led the Dow higher, rising 2.7 percent after the company unveiled new gaming microchip offerings and laid out for reporters a sales strategy it hopes will help it take market share.
Saudi Arabia stocks higher at close of trade
Saudi Arabia stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Insurance, Transport and Industrial Investment sectors led shares higher. At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share added 0.59 percent. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 154 to 96 and 23 ended unchanged. Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.88 percent or 0.64 to $72.19 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July fell 1.03 percent or 0.79 to hit $76.17 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.14 percent or 22.55 to trade at $1,962.35 a troy ounce. EUR/SAR was down 0.51 percent to 4.04, while USD/SAR unchanged 0.01 percent to 3.75. The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.53 percent at 103.28.
FTSE 100 edges higher
U.K. stock markets largely edged higher Friday, helped by a wave of optimism that a U.S. debt default can be avoided as well as British consumers showing increased confidence. At 04:00 ET (08:00 GMT), the benchmark FTSE 100 index traded 0.3 percent higher, the mid-cap FTSE 250 traded largely flat and the combined FTSE 350 rose 0.2 percent. U.K. equities have followed the global trend higher as both U.S. President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy expressed confidence that a deal could shortly be reached to lift the U.S. debt ceiling, removing the potential for a default on the country’s debt obligations, which would have had severe repercussions globally. Adding to the positive tone were the results of the latest survey from market research firm GfK, which indicated that British consumer confidence has risen for the fourth month in a row to its highest since February 2022.