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Wall Street rose at the opening bell after dipping overnight as the House of Representatives approved a sweeping US tax cut and sent the long-awaited measure to Trump's desk.

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"We are making America great again" Trump said after tax cut measures were passed (AFP / Brendan Smialowski)

By AFP

European stock markets recovered from their lows Thursday, helped by a bounce on Wall Street which was pleased with progress on US President Donald Trump's tax reform bill, dealers said.

Trading volumes began to thin out with many investors away for an extended festive break for Christmas and New Year holidays.

Wall Street rose at the opening bell after dipping overnight as the House of Representatives approved a sweeping US tax cut and sent the long-awaited measure to Trump's desk.

"US stocks are rebounding from recent pressure as of late, with the global markets weighing the passage of tax reform with the recent global market rally," said analysts at the Charles Schwab brokerage.

Global equities have had a good year, with Wall Street enjoying a record-breaking run in anticipation of business-friendly tax reform.

Those gains increased over the past week as it became clear that months of bargaining would bear fruit following the successful passage of Trump's tax reform bill through Congress.

"President Trump finally has a piece of legislation passed. There has already been a lot of optimism priced in," said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers.

"I believe this is a perfect example of buy the rumour sell the news. We may see a bit of profit-taking coming into the back end of the year."

In Europe on Thursday, Frankfurt and Paris reversed an early loss-making trend, while London built on earlier modest gains.

British housebuilders Berkeley and Persimmon both fell after the government announced a ban on sales of new homes on a lucrative leasehold basis.

In the US, the tax vote in the lower congressional chamber was the last major hurdle before the controversial $1.5 trillion tax overhaul is signed into law by Trump. Wall Street has viewed the measure as Washington's most important priority since the 2016 US election.

In Asia, Tokyo ended 0.1 percent lower but Hong Kong rose 0.5 percent and Shanghai gained 0.4 percent higher as dealers welcomed a pledge by China's leaders to boost imports.

Dealers are now looking ahead to Friday's release of US personal consumption data, which could provide clues on the Fed's plans for monetary policy next year.

- Key figures around 1435 GMT -

New York - DOW: UP 0.3 percent at 24,802.60 points

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,576.48

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.1 percent at 13,079.51

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 5,359.53

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 3,543.28

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 22,866.10 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.5 percent at 29,367.06 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 3,300.06 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1861 from $1.1871 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3351 from $1.3376

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.46 yen from 113.40 yen

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 25 cents at $64.31 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 39 cents at $57.70

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