Global stocks trade firmly higher on hopes of near-term interest rates cuts | Finance and Markets

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Global stocks trade firmly higher on hopes of near-term support from major central banks as the US-China trade war is affecting seriously the world economic growth.

Asian stocks and European equities are strong into the green, while the Wall Street futures are pointing for positive start of the session, as investors react to comment from Federal Reserve officials that could signal deeper rate cuts and stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings from Microsoft that look to revive hopes for a tech-lead rally into the second half of the year.

Asian markets recap

The main stock indexes of the Asia-Pacific region ended the last session of the week into the green, supported by investors’ optimism about the loosening of monetary policy by the US Federal Reserve.

In China, the mainland index Shanghai Composite advanced by 0.79% to 2,924.20 points. The Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng added 278.09 points, or 0.98%, to 28,739.75 points.

The blue-chip index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei 225, rose by 420.75 points, or 2%, to 21,466.99 points. The stocks of the semiconductor equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose by more than 4%. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Dainippon Screen Mfg (+8.01%), Advantest Corp (+7.11%) and Unitika (+4.93%), while on the flipside were DeNA Co (-1.11%), Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd (-0.81%) and Hitachi Zosen Corp (-0.50%).


In South Korea, local index Kospi rose by 1.35% to 2,094.36 points. The shares of Samsung Electronics rose by more than 1%.

Australian index S&P ASX 200 rose by 51.20 points, or 0.77%, to 6,700.30 points. The stocks of the mining companies Newcrest Mining, Evolution Mining and Alacer Gold increased by more than 2.5%. On the other hand, the shares of Kingsgate Consolidated declined by about 2%. The shares of National Australia Bank also rose by about 2.5% after the creditor announced that had appointed Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan.

European markets mid-session recap

European stocks traded cautiously higher on Friday as market players increase their bets the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this month. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was trading up by 0.26% to 387.80 points. Industrials were the strongest performers with a 0.7% climb while media stocks fell 0.7%. The European Central Bank said on Friday that in the 12-month period to May, the Eurozone’s current-account surplus widened to 30 billion EUR (33.7 billion USD) from 22 billion EUR in April.

German index DAX 30 inched higher by 22.45 points, or 0.18%, to 12,250.30 points at 12:15 GMT. The stocks of carmakers are on the rise with Volkswagen gaining 0.3% and Daimler adding 0.47%. However, the stocks of Deutsche Bank are down by 1.3% and Commerzbank is down by 1.8%.


French index CAC 40 is up by 15.24 points, or 0.27%, to 5,565.78 points. The advertising giant Publicis saw its shares fall 8.5% in early trade to their lowest level since December 2012, after the company cut its revenue target following disappointing second-quarter results.

British blue-chip index FTSE 100 is up by 0.03% to 7,495.37 points. Acacia surged more than 18% and hit its highest level since late February after Barrick, its largest shareholder, agreed to buy out the remaining shares in the company it does not already own at an implied value of 232 pence a share.

London’s FTSE 100 posted broad gains on Friday as bolstered hopes of a U.S. interest rate cut fuelled appetite for riskier assets, while mid-cap Acacia Mining soared after agreeing to an increased buyout offer from Barrick Gold. Ocado was the biggest gainer on the FTSE 100 with a 3.3% increase, while shares of Just Eat and Sainsbury’s also rose.

Wall Street pre-session recap

Wall Street stock index futures gave back much of their gains Friday morning after initially rallying when two influential Fed officials hinted at more aggressive policy easing.

Around 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow futures implied a positive open of around 67 points, after surging triple digits overnight. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were also seen higher.

American Express and BlackRock are among those reporting before the bell on Friday.