Tech, health care stocks are big gainers as US indexes rally

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 17, 2018

The FTSE 100 in Britain dropped 0.4 percent to 7,230.

"Global capital markets stayed in a positive mood overnight, but investors remain on guard for any escalations in geopolitical tensions while trade tariffs remain bubbling under the surface", said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA. Sydney, where a number of firms that rely on Chinese business are based, was flat, but Singapore added 0.2 percent.

The market was in rally mode from the start of trading Monday, despite a sell-off among major indexes in Europe.

The Dow gained 0.87 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent on Monday, with the biggest boosts from technology and health-care sectors, since investors were optimistic about the earnings season and appeared less anxious about USA -led missile attacks in Syria. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his use of the phrase "Mission Accomplished" to describe the USA -led missile attack, while his aides stressed continuing US troop involvement and plans for new economic sanctions against Russian Federation for enabling the government of Bashar Assad.

S&P 500 companies are expected to report an 18.6% jump in first-quarter profit, on average, the biggest rise in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Indonesia's finance minister said the country's first quarter GDP was likely to be 5.2%, which would be an improvement on last year's growth of 5.01%.

The 6.8 percent reading was slightly more than tipped in an AFP survey and came despite a brewing trade dispute with the United States, a drive to address the country's troubling debt mountain and a war on pollution that saw factory production cut.

WPP: Shares in WPP, the world's largest ad agency, fell as much as 5.6 percent on Monday after its CEO, Martin Sorrell, resigned over an investigation into personal misconduct.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent to 21,835.53, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.6 percent to 30,315.59 and the Shanghai Composite index sank 1.5 percent to 3,110.65.

Capitaland Ltd and City Developments Ltd fell 1.1% and 1.3% respectively, leading losses among real estate stocks.

ENERGY: Oil prices fell back from spikes last week on fears over an escalation of strife in the Middle East, with US benchmark crude falling 72 cents to $66.67 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Safe-haven assets eased in response, with yields on US 10-year Treasury debt US10YT=RR up two basis points at 2.84 percent.

The euro was steady at $1.2330 EUR= , while the dollar index eased a touch to 89.772 .DXY .

The dollar fell to 107.10 yen from 107.41 yen on Friday.

Gold was steady at $1,345.85 an ounce.

The troubles in the oil-rich Middle East have helped push the price of crude to highs not seen since the end of 2014, though both main contracts slipped in early trade Monday. Australia's S&P ASX 200 picked up 0.2 percent. BHP Billiton advanced 0.8 percent while Rio Tinto shed 0.3 percent and Fortescue Metals Group declined 0.9 percent. Germany's DAX lost 0.4 percent, while the CAC 40 in France ended essentially flat.

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