Global Stocks Follow Wall Street Higher

Global Stocks Follow Wall Street Higher

BEIJING (AP) -- Global stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Thursday after further gains for major U.S. tech stocks.

London and Frankfurt gained at the opening while Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong and Australia closed higher.

U.S. stocks have recovered most of this year's losses, helping to push up global prices, despite rising numbers of American coronavirus infections that threaten to derail economic improvement. Investors are buying technology and other companies they expect to emerge stronger from the global downturn.

On Wednesday, Wall Street turned in its sixth gain in seven days when the benchmark S&P 500 index closed up 0.8%. Amazon, Apple and Microsoft accounted for half that rise.

“The uptick in sentiment seems unrelated to any specific news,” Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London added 0.1% to 6,149.26 and the DAX in Frankfurt jumped 1.4% to 12,664.80. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.3% to 4,997.24.

On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 0.1%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4% to 3,450.59 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.4% to 22,529.29.

In a sign of Chinese investor enthusiasm, a maker of communications security technology, QuantumCTek Co. Ltd., rose 924% on its first day of trading on the Shanghai exchange's board for tech companies.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.3% to 26,210.16 despite U.S.-Chinese tensions over a security law imposed on the territory.

The Kospi in Seoul was 0.4% higher at 2,167.90 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.6% to 5,955.50. New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok retreated while Jakarta rose.

On Wednesday, the Dow rose 0.7% while the Nasdaq composite gained 1.4%.

Optimism is rising about a reopening U.S. economy, but virus case numbers are rising across much of the South and West. Some state governments have reversed plans to allow restaurants and other businesses to reopen.

Amazon added 2.7%, Apple rose 2.3% and Microsoft gained 2.2%.

Major companies are due to report quarterly results next week. They are expected to be dismal.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 15 cents to $40.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 28 cents on Wednesday to settle at $40.90. Brent crude, the international price benchmark, shed 7 cents to $43.22 per barrel in London. It added 21 cents the previous session to $43.29.

The dollar declined to 107.26 yen from Wednesday's 107.31 yen. The euro was little-changed at $1.1360.