Last update: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 05am

Stocks and Bonds: World


Wall Street recovered sharply to trade flat on Thursday as a rally in American Express and health stocks helped counter a drop in Verizon and technology stocks. AmEx soared 9.7 percent, on track for its best day in more than seven years, after its strong quarterly results and upbeat forecast. The stock was the top boost to the S&P 500 as well as the Dow, where it added about 42 points, perfectly negating the impact of Verizon and Travelers together.

US stocks notched a second straight day of gains on Wednesday, as climbing oil prices lifted the energy sector and earnings from Morgan Stanley provided a boost to financials. Brent crude settled up 1.9 percent and US crude settled up 2.6 percent after touching a 15-month high following a government report that showed a sharp drop in domestic inventories for the sixth week in seven.
Tokyo stocks closed at a six-month high Thursday as market favourite Hillary Clinton was widely considered to have beaten rival Donald Trump in the last US presidential debate. Relief spread as Clinton is considered a safer and less volatile bet for the White House and her performance in the debate left traders confident she will maintain her opinion poll lead just 20 days before Election Day.
Banks helped to support British bluechips on Thursday, buoyed by good performance from US lenders in key business areas on a volatile day as the European Central Bank held policy steady. British mid-caps were also in focus, hobbled as the FTSE 250 was hit by a series of profit warnings. The FTSE 100 ended up 4.98 points, or 0.1 percent, at 7,026.90, following a volatile session.
European shares rose on Thursday to their highest level in two weeks, helped by weakness in the euro and further boosted by a rally in bank sector stocks. The euro fell to a four-month low against the US dollar after the European Central Bank cooled talk of any withdrawal of its monetary stimulus after deciding as expected to keep rates unchanged.
Indian shares ended higher on Thursday, tracking Asian peers, with financial stocks such as ICICI Bank Ltd contributing most to the gains on the indexes. The broader NSE index ended 0.47 percent higher at 8,699.40, while the benchmark BSE index closed up 0.52 percent at 28,129.84. Almost all constituents on the Nifty Bank Index and the Nifty Financial Services Index, which also includes non-banking financial companies, closed higher.
Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Thursday after two straight sessions of gains, while Thailand posted its highest close in nearly two weeks with energy stocks leading the rise. Investors were watchful before the final US presidential debate in the early session, and will keep an eye out for the ECB policy meeting later in the day. The debate was judged to have given no clear boost to Republican Donald Trump's hopes of winning the White House race.