US. stocks rose to fresh highs as companies continued to indicate the tax overhaul will boost earnings this year. The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest gain since November rising 0.9%.
Taxes drove much of the action. Financials were strong after Bank of America beat estimates and indicated that it could benefit from the U.S. tax overhaul by reducing pressure to cut future costs.
Apple climbed after saying that under the rules of the new tax plan it will bring hundreds of billions of dollars back to the U.S. from overseas to invest in jobs and facilities.
Treasuries fell with gold and the dollar gained on speculation Congress will avert a government shutdown tomorrow.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined slightly, falling 0.3%. Support came from the weaker euro, which was dragged down by some verbal intervention from the ECB, while the yen and Swiss franc were among the other major currencies falling against the greenback.
The European Central Bank’s second-highest official, Vice President Vitor Constancio, added to comments from Francois Villeroy de Galhau and Ewald Nowotny, who argued over the past two days that a stronger euro may harm ECB efforts to return inflation to the goal of just under 2%.
The Vice President, generally considered one of the most dovish ECB officials, outlined his position a week ahead of the Governing Council’s Jan. 25 meeting to set monetary policy. The euro has risen to the strongest level against the dollar in more than three years amid signs that robust economic growth has prompted policy discussions over whether the ECB should tweak its guidance on stimulus.
In Asia overnight, Chinese shares in Hong Kong added to their 2018 surge, gaining 0.9%, while Japanese equities continued declines from the previous session, falling 0.4%.