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Global Shares Tick Higher as New Quarter Begins

3 Apr 2017 7:28 am
By Riva Gold and Ese Erheriene 

Global stocks continued to grind higher at the start of the second quarter, in a week set to include U.S. jobs figures, minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting and a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping .

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2% in the early minutes of trading Monday, led by shares of energy and mining companies. Futures pointed to a 0.2% opening gain for the S&P 500, after a brightening economic outlook helped send the index to its best quarter since the end of 2015.

Earlier, Asian equities mostly traded higher. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.4%, led by companies driven by domestic-demand, despite modestly disappointing data on Japanese corporate sentiment.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.5% and India's Sensex index rose 0.7%, on track to top January 2015's record closing high. Some analysts were cautious, however, after an 11% gain for the first quarter, the Sensex's best quarter in three years.

"Market is stretched, valuations are high and lots of liquidity is driving it rather than strong fundamentals," said Arun Gopalan, vice president of research at Systematix Shares & Stocks.

Mainland Chinese markets were closed. On Friday, Mr. Trump signed executive orders meant to curb what he calls unfair trade practices--orders many see as aimed at China.

In currencies, the WSJ Dollar Index was flat, with the dollar last up 0.1% against the yen and 0.2% against the British pound, but down 0.1% against the euro.

Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were a touch higher at 2.401% from 2.396% Friday, while German bund yields edged up to 0.327% from 0.326%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Commodity prices including gold and copper were little changed, with Brent crude oil flat at $50.54 a barrel.

Takashi Nakamichi, Debiprasad Nayak, Joanne Chiu and Hiroyuki Kachi contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Ese Erheriene at ese.erheriene@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 03, 2017 03:28 ET (07:28 GMT)

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