European Stocks Follow Asian Indexes Higher

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

European equity markets ticked up at Tuesday's open, taking the lead from upbeat trading in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Stoxx Europe 600 inched up 0.2% shortly after markets opened, with the index's personal goods sector up 0.4% and its industrial goods sector up 0.3%.

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An early boost for European stocks came after a mixed open turned positive in Asia-Pacific markets, with Hong Kong's benchmark last up 1.7% and pointing to another record high close.

Japanese stocks also rebounded on the back of a weaker yen, helping the country's exporters. The dollar gained 0.2% to Yen110.7350, pushing the Nikkei to finish up 1% at a fresh 26-year high. Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.3% to log another 28-year record and New Zealand's NZX 50 closed 0.4% higher after four days of losses.

In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.8%, rallying from downbeat trading Monday, and the Shenzhen Composite rose 0.7%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.4%, though, with mining companies falling as metals prices lost some of the dollar-driven gains they made Monday. Rio Tinto closed 0.7% down, despite hitting a 6 1/2 -year high earlier in the day after posting record production figures for 2017. Sector peer BHP Billiton closed 0.8% down.

The U.S. dollar clawed back some of the value it lost Monday, with the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, up 0.1%, although still down 1.7% over the past five trading days. After months of weakness, the U.S. currency hit a new three-year low Monday, with U.S. markets closed for a public holiday. S&P 500 futures were recently on course to rise 0.4%.

The dollar was buffeted by the yen, euro and yuan Monday after more hawkish remarks from the governor of the Bank of Japan, progress in the German chancellor's attempts to build a coalition government and optimistic remarks from China's prime minister ahead of GDP data, expected Thursday.

Against a backdrop of synchronized global economic growth, "it's pretty clear that a lot of countries around the world are starting to think slightly more hawkishly about growth data. You have some central banks headed towards an exit from more accommodative policies... [while] on the other side you have expected Fed rate hikes which are already priced in," said James Pomeroy, a global economist at HSBC.

U.S. 10-year Treasury yields slipped to 2.534% from 2.551% late Friday. Yields move inversely to prices.

Write to David Hodari at David.Hodari@dowjones.com and Gregor Stuart Hunter at gregor.hunter@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 16, 2018 04:02 ET (09:02 GMT)

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