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Last update: Fri, 27 May 2016 05am

Stocks and Bonds: World

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Wall Street was slightly lower on Thursday as material stocks fell and after oil struggled to stay above the psychologically important $50-per-barrel mark. Oil has rallied in recent weeks as wildfires in Canada and unrest in Nigeria and Libya brought a faster-than-expected recovery to an oversupplied market. "The global surplus still exists and there is still a possibility that oil prices could retrace further," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York.

Wall Street rose robustly for a second straight session on Wednesday, helped by higher oil prices and investors becoming more comfortable with the prospect of an interest rate hike as early as next month. Combining Tuesday and Wednesday's performances, the S&P 500 gained 2 percent, its strongest two-day run since early March.
Tokyo shares closed flat Thursday as an oil-fuelled rally earlier in the session fizzled, while Takata skyrocketed on a report that a US private equity firm wants to take control of the company. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is looking to take over up to 60 percent of the embattled airbag supplier from the founding family, Japan's leading business daily Nikkei reported, prompting Takata's shares to surge 21.16 percent to 458 yen.
Britain's top share index steadied at the close on Thursday after reaching a one-month high, as mining shares rallied along with metals prices to offset weaker banking and energy stocks. Mining companies were the top sectoral gainers, with the FTSE 350 Mining index rising nearly 1 percent as a weaker dollar helped copper prices climb to two-week highs.
European shares steadied on Thursday, with banks coming under pressure after a surprise rights issue by Spain's Banco Popular raised fears that others in the region may follow to strengthen their balance sheets. The pan-European STOXX Europe 600 ended up 0.1 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 added 0.2 percent. Both hit a four-week high in the previous session, helped by a two-day rally in banking stocks.
Indian shares rose nearly 2 percent on Thursday to post their third session of gains, as Larsen & Toubro surged after upbeat March-quarter results, raising hopes about the domestic economy. The broader NSE index ended 1.7 percent higher at 8,069.65, while the benchmark BSE index rose 1.88 percent to close at 26,366.68. Larsen & Toubro jumped as much as 15 percent to its highest since October 2015. It closed up 14.1 percent.
Sri Lankan shares closed at a four-week low in thin trade on Thursday, led by bluechips amid foreign investor outflow as investor sentiment took a hit on rising interest rates despite the central bank keeping key policy rates steady last week. Yields on treasury bills edged up by between 5 and 27 basis points to near three-year highs at a weekly auction on Wednesday. The central bank left key policy rates steady for a third straight month.