HONG KONG – World stock markets mostly kept rising on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump promised he would soon cut taxes for businesses.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX added 0.3 per cent to 11,678 and France’s CAC 40 was flat at 4,825. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.3 per cent to 7,252. Greece’s stock market was up 2.5 per cent as its creditors met to find a way to ease concerns about the future of its bailout program. U.S. benchmarks were poised to rise, with both Dow and S&P 500 futures gaining 0.1 per cent.
TRUMP ON TAXES: In a meeting with airline and airport executives, Trump vowed to roll back government regulations and said he would announce a plan in the next three weeks to reduce taxes for businesses. The comments were short on details, but encouraged investors who have been waiting to see how Trump follows through on campaign promises to boost economic growth.
THE QUOTE: “Ever since his victory in November, global stock markets have been steered by actions and rhetoric emanating from the new commander-in-chief,” said Nicholas Teo of KGI Securities. “The trigger event of last night’s jump clearly shows the willingness of the markets to give the man lots of ‘slack’, extending Mr. Trump more time to execute his election promises.”
MR. ABE GOES TO WASHINGTON: Markets are awaiting the outcome of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s meetings with Trump on Friday and the weekend. Japanese companies, worried about Trump’s complaints over trade and exchange rates, hope Abe can get him to buy into a job creation and investment package.
CHINA TRADE: Strong January trade data from China brightened investor sentiment. Exports rebounded, expanding nearly 8 per cent while imports jumped 16.7 per cent. The figures are a good sign for the world’s No. 2 economy, but could also be distorted as factories closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls at different times in the first two months of the year.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index surged 2.5 per cent to close at 19,378.93 as the yen weakened against the dollar, lifting shares of exporters. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5 per cent to 2,075.08 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2 per cent to 23,574.98. The Shanghai Composite in mainland China gained 0.4 per cent to 3,196.70 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1 per cent to 5,720.60.
CURRENCIES: The dollar was trading at 113.46 yen, up from the 112.20 level it was trading at 24 hours earlier. The euro weakened to $1.0624 from $1.0653.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 84 cents to $53.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 66 cents on Thursday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, gained $1.02 to $56.65 a barrel in London.