World Shares Advance Following Strong Wall Street Finish

Visitors talk to each other in front of stock trading boards at a private stock market gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

Shares rose in Europe and Asia on Thursday after a strong overnight finish on Wall Street. Traders were encouraged by a Wall Street Journal report saying the Chinese government might make changes to its “Made in China 2025” economic development plan.

Germany’s DAX added 0.3 percent to 10,961.39 and the CAC40 in France climbed 0.3 percent to 4,923.63. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.2 percent higher to 6,891.77. The future contract for the S&P 500 was up 0.5 percent at 2,666.20 while the contract for the Dow climbed 0.4 percent to 24,762.00, auguring an upbeat start for the day.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.0 percent to 21,816.19 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng report jumped 1.3 percent to 26,524.35. The Shanghai Composite index climbed 1.2 percent to 2,634.05 while the Kospi in South Korea added 0.6 percent to 2,095.55. India’s Sensex advanced 0.7 percent to 36,016.89 while the S&P ASX 200 in Australia edged 0.1 percent higher to 5,661.60. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

The Chinese initiative aims to create leading companies in fields like artificial intelligence, electric cars and robotics. The Trump administration says the government is unfairly subsidizing Chinese companies and discriminating against foreign rivals. Along with disputes over China’s handling of intellectual property, it’s a significant contributor to trade tensions. The Wall Street Journal reported a revised plan would allow greater access for foreign companies to Chinese markets and investment.

British Prime Minister Theresa May won a no-confidence vote that had threatened to end her tenure. Lawmakers within May’s Conservative Party have expressed frustration over her negotiations of Britain’s departure from the European Union, and many of them want a cleaner break from the trading bloc. Opposition lawmakers don’t want Britain to leave the EU. The lingering uncertainty over the “Brexit” has pushed the British pound sharply lower. It rose to $1.2672 from Wednesday’s $1.2634.

“Local equity markets are trading well, catching an updraft via U.S. equity futures, as in the absence of any inflammatory rhetoric from the U.S. administration, the perception that trade tensions are easing continues to steer the ship. But investors are also breathing a sigh of relief that the U.K. worst-case scenarios didn’t unfold overnight,” Stephen Innes of Oanda said in a commentary.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 21 cents to $50.94 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 1 percent to $52.15 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 15 cents to $60.00 per barrel. It lost 0.1 percent to $60.15 per barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 113.46 yen from 113.32 yen. The euro rose to $1.1382 from $1.1370.