Global Shares Advance Amid Strong Earnings -- Update

By Justin Yang and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Equity markets gained on strong corporate earnings and higher commodity prices on Tuesday.

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Futures pointed to a 0.4% opening gain for the S&P 500 and a 0.5% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, following upbeat sessions in Europe and Asia. The Stoxx 600 Europe rose 0.5% in morning trading ahead of a reading on eurozone growth, while the FTSE 100 was up 0.8%.

Adding to a raft of earnings reports, energy giant BP PLC rose 3.3% after the company returned to profitability in the second quarter on recovering oil prices. That helped boost the Stoxx 600 Europe Oil and Gas sector by 1.4%.

British aircraft-engine maker Rolls Royce Holdings PLC also reported positive earnings after posting a first-half net profit, sending its shares up 7.4%.

"Equities are in an earnings driven market, surprising to the upside," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

A slightly disappointing reading on eurozone manufacturing Tuesday morning sent the euro down 0.2% to $1.1818, while U.K. manufacturing growth accelerated in July, sending the British pound up 0.1% to $1.3229. The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies, was last flat after settling at its lowest since August.

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Improvement in a closely-watched private gauge of manufacturing in China helped Asian shares gain. The reading from Caixan and IHS Markit rose for a second straight month in July and hit its highest level since March. In contrast, Monday's government reading slowed slightly.

"Today's unofficial PMI suggests that manufacturing activity has held up better than previously thought and points to a pickup in economic growth last month," said Julian Evans-Pritchard at Capital Economics.

Chinese stocks were already higher ahead of the report, and the Shanghai Composite Index was last up 0.6% after four consecutive sessions of gains. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index hit fresh two-year highs, rising 0.8%, moving closer to 2015's peak.

Commodities also continued to climb Tuesday as global and U.S. oil benchmarks added to more than a week straight of gains, both passing above $50 for the first time in two months.

That all helped push Australia's S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% after the index lagged once again in July. Commodities-focused stocks were posting outsize gains, with Woodside Petroleum rising 2.3%.

Australia's central bank on Tuesday warned over recent strength in the Australian dollar and left its cash rate target on hold at a record.

The currency is well above the central bank's "equilibrium level," National Australia Bank said.

Korean stocks were also strong on Tuesday. The Kospi was up 0.8% amid gains in index heavyweight Samsung as well as carriers Asiana and Korean Air.

Japan's Nikkei rose just 0.3% as Tokyo equities were capped by lagging tech stocks.

Grace Zhu contributed to this article.

Write to Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 01, 2017 05:45 ET (09:45 GMT)