Asian markets jumped on Thursday, encouraged by solid earnings from the US. The ASX 200 rallied 2% to 4207, the Hang Seng surged 1.7% to 19559, and the Kospi advanced 1.6% to 1823. Trailing behind, the Nikkei gained .8% to 8796, and the Shanghai Composite rose .7% to 2185.
The rally continued in Europe, thanks to solid earnings news. The DAX climbed 1.1% to 6758, the CAC40 added .9% to 3264, and the FTSE rose .5% to 5714. Nokia shares jumped 12% after reporting a loss which was smaller than expected.
More moderate gains were achieved by US indexes. The Dow rose 35 points to 12934, the Nasdaq climbed .8% to 2966, and the S&P 500 edged up .3% to 1377.
IBM rallied 3.8% and Ebay surged 8.6% after bot companies reported strong earnings reports, triggering a tech rally.
Treasuries and Commodities
10-year notes eased 4/32 to yield 1.51%, and 30-year notes declined 7/32 to yield 2.61%.
Commodities posted strong gains as investor sentiment rose. Crude oil jumped 2.8% to 92.36, gasoline advanced 1.8% to 2.9345, and natural gas gained 1.6% to 3.02.
Copper rallied 1.8% to 3.534, gold rose .7% to 1581.30, and silver added .4% to 27.21.
The Dollar slipped on Thursday, but the losses were limited. The Australian Dollar gained .6% to 1.0433, thanks to gains in commodities, and the Pound rose .4% to 1.5721. The Euro and Swiss Franc closed flat, while the Yen and Canadian Dollar rose .3%.
Thursday’s economic data was particularly disappointing, but earnings news carried the day. Weekly unemployment claims rose to 386K from 352K, 21K more than expected. Existing home sales unexpectedly tumbled to an annualized 4.37M from 4.62M, far below estimates. The Philly Fed manufacturing index clocked in at -12.9, weaker than forecast, but a slight improvement from last month’s -16.6.
No major economic reports are due on Friday. Earnings are due from Baker Hughes, GE, Ingersoll-Rand, Manpower, Sclumberger, and Xerox.