US. equity benchmarks finished the day mostly higher, led by technology and health-care companies, while China’s efforts to support its economy spurred interest in higher-risk assets across Asia. The dollar slipped and 10-year Treasuries gained.
The S&P 500 Index rose for the second straight day, gaining 0.5%, as positive earnings news overcame traders’ anxieties about simmering trade disputes.
Google parent Alphabet Inc. anchored the market’s advance early in the session after it beat analysts’ estimates. Exxon Mobil and Chevron also gained as oil advanced 0.5%, ahead of data on U.S. inventories.
In economic news, US GDP data will be released on Friday. Consensus economists’ forecasts is for gross domestic product to increase by about 4.2% at an annualized rate in the second quarter, the most since 2014.
European equities gained 0.8%, one of the largest daily moves in the month. Carmakers and banks were among the biggest winners, as PSA Group said subsidiary Opel turned a profit and Swiss Bank, UBS, posted better-than-forecast results.
In economic news, the euro-area composite PMI survey was released yesterday and indicated that the bloc’s economy has strengthened from the slight moderation seen at the start of the year, though there’s little chance of a return to the heady rates of expansion posted in 2017.
The European Central Bank will hold its next policy meeting tomorrow. Strengthening economic data should keep the central bank on track to finish its asset purchases in December and begin a tightening cycle the following September.
Japanese stocks advanced to the highest level in more than five weeks, following a rally in U.S. equities as strong results boosted investor sentiment.
Chinese equities retreated 0.2%, stalling after a three-day rally propelled by signs of a shift toward stimulus. The yuan was little changed after dropping to the weakest against the dollar in more than a year Tuesday.