Global Shares Higher on Growth Optimism

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were higher Wednesday, lifted by optimism over global economic growth and corporate earnings.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 added nearly 0.4 percent in early trading to 5,522.45, while Germany's DAX was up 0.9 percent at 13,354.45. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent to 7,523.33. U.S. shares were also set to advance, with Dow futures up 0.4 percent to 23,414. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.3 percent to 2,580.10.

GOOD EARNINGS: More than half the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results for the July-through-September quarter, and most have topped Wall Street forecasts. Several big names are still on the docket for this week, with Facebook set to report on Wednesday and Apple on Thursday.

CENTRAL BANKS: Several of the world's largest central banks are meeting this week, and the Bank of Japan decided on Tuesday to keep its interest rates at ultra-low levels. The Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates on Thursday, which would be the first increase in a decade. The Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day meeting Wednesday, though most economists expect the U.S. central bank to wait until its December gathering to raise rates for the third time this year. Meanwhile, attention is on President Donald Trump's choice for the next Fed chair.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.9 percent to close at 22,420.08. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5 percent to 5,937.80. South Korea's Kospi gained 1.3 percent to 2,556.47. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.2 percent to 28,584.06, while the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.1 percent to 3,395.91. Shares in Taiwan and Southeast Asia were higher.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "Going forward, we expect Asian equities to rise further over the next year, though not at anything like the pace that they have done so far in 2017," Capital Economic said in a commentary. "Although valuations of Asian equities remain favorable relative to developed markets, they are now higher than their average of the past few years."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 56 cents to $54.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 23 cents to settle at $54.38 per barrel overnight. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 56 cents to $61.50 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.96 yen from 113.12 yen late Tuesday in Asia. The euro rose to $1.1641 from $1.1638.

(BE)