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International markets roundup

International markets roundup

NEW YORK: Wall Street has risen, led by gains in consumer stocks, even as a possible government shutdown loomed.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record closing highs, while the Dow ended the day higher after trading in a narrow range.

Nike, Philip Morris International and Home Depot rose between 1.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent on upbeat analyst expectations, helping to boost the S&P 500. Conversely, losses in International Business Machines Corp and American Express capped gains on the Dow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.21 per cent to close at 26,071.72, the S&P 500 gained 0.44 per cent to 2,810.3 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.55 per cent to 7,336.38.

For the week, the Dow rose 1.04 per cent, the S&P 500 added 0.86 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 1.04 per cent.

LONDON: Britain’s major share index rallied to a higher close on Friday as strong metals prices boosted miners and investors sought makers of consumer staples following fresh evidence of a slowdown in consumer spending.

Profit warnings in the morning from retailer Carpetright and funeral services provider Dignity reverberated across the retail sector and underscored the challenges facing British companies that suffer most when household finances are tight.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.39 per cent to close at 7,730.79. It was down 0.8 per cent on the week, its first week of losses in seven, after a stellar start to the year riding the wave of rising global equities.

Consumer staples companies whose profits are seen as less volatile to swings in consumer demand such as Unilever and cigarette maker BAT helped pull the index to a higher close.

A report showed British shop sales slid by much more than expected in December. That capped the weakest year for retail since 2013 as consumers squeezed by high inflation continued to keep a tight grip on spending.

European shares rose to highs not seen since 2008 as growing confidence in corporate earnings and in the strength of the global economy continued to fuel a bull market, which shrugged off fears of a possible US government shutdown.

The euro zone’s STOXX benchmark index closed up 0.73 per cent at 402.95 points, its highest level in 10 years and the pan-regional STOXX 600 benchmark rose 0.5 per cent to 400.71 points, a two-and-a-half-year peak.

Germany’s DAX gained 1.15 per cent to 13,434.45.

TOKYO: Asia stocks shook off losses on Wall Street and edged to record highs on Friday following China’s announcement of faster-than-expected fourth-quarter growth, while worries over a possible US government shutdown weighed on the US dollar.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.52 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.19 per cent at 23,808.06.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended at a new high, up for the sixth week in a row, led by property shares, as mainland money gushed into the city. HSCE, an index tracking mainland companies, registered a 16-day winning streak.

The Hang Seng index was up 0.41 per cent at 32,254.89. For the week, the index rose 2.7 per cent.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.65 per cent to 13,179.52.

The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Resources Land Ltd up 7.4 per cent, while the biggest loser was Hengan International Group Company Ltd which was down 3.32 per cent.

China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.38 per cent at 3,487.86 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.33 per cent at 4,285.40.

WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 0.2 per cent, to 8,289.96.