U.S. stocks gained yesterday after the Federal Reserve said interest rates would remain low through late 2014.
Hong Kong stocks jumped this morning as investors returned from a long Lunar New Year-holiday to cheer the Federal Reserve’s projection.
After falling as much as 95.63 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 12 756.96, up 81.21 points, or 0.6 per cent. It was the index’s highest close since May 10. The S&P 500 Index gained 11.41 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 1 326.06, with utilities leading gains that included all of its 10 industry groups. The index has closed lower only three sessions so far this year. Up for a second session, the Nasdaq Composite rose 31.67 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 2 818.31.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was flat at 256.11, but the German DAX 30 index rose 0.3 per cent to 6 441.31. The French CAC 40 index rose 0.4 per cent to 3 335.83. The FTSE 100 index rose 0.4 per cent to 5 774.20.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 1.2 per cent in late morning trade, staying on course for a five-session winning streak begun ahead of the holidays. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2 per cent, but Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.3 per cent after a mildly positive open. Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese markets remained closed this week for holidays, while markets in Sydney were shut for Australia Day.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.31 to the euro, 1.56 to the pound and will buy 77.64 Japanese Yen or 7.88 South African Rand.
The JSE all-share index had declined by 0.29 per cent to 33 637.27 points. Gold stocks relinquished 2.32 per cent, resources lost 0.56 per cent, and platinums shed 0.44 per cent. Banks surrendered 1.06 per cent, financials diminished 0.73 per cent and industrials took up 0.18 per cent.
By close of day, the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.650 per cent, from its previous close of 6.640 per cent.
The R207 was bid at 7.840 per cent and offered at 7.815 per cent from a previous close of 7.805 per cent and the R186 was trading at 8.340 per cent, from its close of 8.300 per cent.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 699.80/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 581.40/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 109.81 per barrel.