December 12, 2017
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wall Street up as Yellen eases concerns about economy

Wall Street was on track to snap a three-day losing run on Wednesday after comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen eased investor concerns about the capacity of the economy to absorb a gradual rise in interest rates.

At 12:46 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was up 54.24 points, or 0.34 percent, at 16,068.62. The index wobbled under the weight of Disney's (DIS.N) 3.6 percent fall.

The S&P 500 was up 18.74 points, or 1.01 percent, at 1,870.95 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 72.45 points, or 1.7 percent, at 4,341.21.

European shares rebounded from two-year lows reached in the previous session, helped by some solid corporate earnings and a recovery in Deutsche Bank.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen 1.6 percent to its lowest point since September 2013 on Tuesday, rose 1.5 percent.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also gained 1.9 percent.

Shares in gambling group Unibet surged 9.3 percent after the company's fourth quarter underlying profit rose more than expected.

Deutsche Bank also climbed 6.5 percent after the Financial Times reported it was considering buying back several billion euros of its debt in an attempt to shore up the tumbling value of its securities.

Investors said this was bringing back some calm to the banking sector, though the euro zone's banking index is still facing its seventh consecutive week of declines - its worst weekly losing streak since 1998 - as investors fret over the threat to banks' profitability and capital strength from compressed interest rate margins.

Norwegian mobile software company Opera jumped 36 percent after a group of Chinese firms made a cash offer for the company, valuing it at 10.5 billion crowns, or $1.23 billion.

However, shares in Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk slumped 9 percent after it reported a fourth-quarter net loss after booking impairments of $2.6 billion on its oil assets.

According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, roughly half of the companies in the pan-European STOXX 600 index have reported fourth quarter results, and 52 percent have beaten or met expectations while 48 percent have missed.

The FTSEurofirst remains down 14 percent since the start of 2016, with markets such as the German DAX and British FTSE 100 roughly 20 percent below record highs reached last year.

Global stock markets have been hit by signs of a slowdown in China, the world's second-biggest economy, and weak oil prices although some investors said now was a good time to pick up shares in the market.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average closed at its lowest level since October 2014 as worries about the health of global banks and economic growth intensified.

The Nikkei stumbled 2.3 percent to 15,713.39, for a total fall of 10.3 percent this month.

The broader Topix dropped 3.0 percent to 1,264.96, with turnover hitting 3.5 trillion yen, about 35 percent above the average in the past year.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  

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