Last update: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05am

Stocks and Bonds: World


The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record intraday highs on Wednesday, helped by gains in bank stocks, but President-elect Donald Trump's comments on drug prices slammed the healthcare sector, pulling down the Nasdaq. Trump, in an interview with the Time magazine, said he would bring down drug prices. The S&P 500 healthcare index swiftly lost nearly 2 percent, while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index dropped 3.8 percent - set for its worst day in nearly two months.

Wall Street climbed on Tuesday as telecom stalwarts AT&T and Verizon gained and bank shares added to their torrid post-election rally, helping the Dow set another record closing high. The S&P financial sector rose nearly 1 percent, lifted by a 2.2 percent gain for Wells Fargo. The bank's chief executive told an investor conference it will see a near-term profit hit because of the sharp rise in interest rates, but will benefit in the longer term from rising rates.
Tokyo stocks ended higher Wednesday after another record close on Wall Street and as SoftBank soared in response to Donald Trump's announcement of a $50 billion investment by the telecoms and internet giant. Dealers are also looking ahead to a meeting Thursday of the European Central Bank, which is expected to extend a stimulus programme beyond its planned March finish and provide further buying support.
Britain's top share index rose to a one-month high on Wednesday, rallying for a third straight session as investors snapped up bank and mining stocks and rotated out of more "defensive" parts of the market. The British FTSE 100 was up 1.8 percent to 6,902.23 points at its close, its highest closing level since November 9.
European shares climbed on Wednesday, with the regional banking index hitting an 11-month peak after Credit Suisse announced further cost cuts and Italian banks surged in their best two-day run since mid-2011. The STOXX Europe 600 Banks index was up 2.3 percent after touching its highest level since January, supported by an 7.4 percent rise in Credit Suisse after the Swiss bank announced more than 1 billion Swiss francs ($991 million) in extra cost cuts.
Indian shares snapped two sessions of gains to close lower on Wednesday after the Reserve Bank of India unexpectedly kept its repo rate unchanged, despite calls for action as an intense cash shortage threatens the economy. The broader NSE index fell as much as 0.81 percent, before ending 0.50 percent lower at 8,102.05. The benchmark BSE index closed down 0.59 percent at 26,236.87.
Most Southeast Asian markets ended higher on Wednesday tracking Asian peers with investors awaiting the upcoming European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting for cues. The ECB is expected to announce a six-month extension to its quantitative easing programme next week, according to a majority of economists polled by Reuters.