Stocks track higher after Wall Street hit another record

By The Canadian Press
December 5, 2016 - 9:30am

HONG KONG — Stock markets pushed higher on Tuesday as investors cheered another record day on Wall Street and looked past the political and economic uncertainty buffeting Europe.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 added 0.5 per cent to 4,596 and Britain's FTSE 100 edged 0.4 per cent higher to 6,771. Germany's DAX rose up 0.3 per cent to 10,721. U.S. stocks were poised for a flat open, with Dow and S&P 500 futures both steady.

EUROPEAN POLITICS: European markets recovered after initial losses. Leadership changes in the French government appeared to unsettle investors, who are already worried about renewed political uncertainty on the continent following Italy's referendum. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced he would step down to prepare for running for president after President Francois Hollande decided not run for a second term. Market fears had largely receded after the Italian vote, which forced Premier Matteo Renzi's resignation.

QUOTABLE QUOTE: "The markets appear to have come to the realization that the concerns paid to the Italian referendum may be too much or too early," said Jingyi Pan of IG Markets in Singapore. "Relief rally has become the favourite description for the overnight trend seen in both European and U.S. stock markets as traders tuned back to riskier assets."

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.5 per cent to close at 18,360.54. South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.4 per cent to 1,989.86 after the finance ministry said it would frontload nearly 70 per cent of government spending for 2017. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.8 per cent to 22,675.15, while the Shanghai Composite index dipped 0.2 per cent to 3,199.65. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.5 per cent to 5,428.70.

ENERGY: The rally in oil prices petered out after four days of gains fueled by the OPEC deal to trim production. Benchmark U.S. crude futures lost 61 cents to $51.18 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 11 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 36 cents to $54.58 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.88 yen from 113.70 yen in Tuesday trading. The euro fell to $1.0735 from $1.0756.

Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press

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