SINGAPORE (AP) — An incredible day on Wall Street, where major indexes finished at least 5 percent higher, lifted Japanese stocks but garnered a mixed reaction elsewhere in Asia and Europe on Thursday as some traders returned from a Christmas break.
KEEPING SCORE: Trading resumed Thursday for European markets, which were closed for the festive season. Germany's DAX dropped 0.3 percent to 10,601.98 while France's CAC 40 added 0.8 percent to 4,664.54. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 6,685.64. Wall Street was poised to open lower. Futures for the broad S&P futures were down 1 percent at 2,447.25. Dow futures fell 1 percent to 22,666.00.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index rebounded 3.9 percent to 20,077.62. It tumbled more than 5 percent on Tuesday before recovering slightly a day later. South Korea's Kospi was less than 0.1 percent higher at 2,028.44. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.6 percent to 2,483.09. Markets in Hong Kong and Australia reopened after Christmas. The Hang Seng index was 0.7 percent lower at 25,478.88. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 jumped 1.9 percent to 5,597.20. Stocks climbed in Taiwan and throughout Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET JUMP: On Wednesday, U.S. markets snapped a four-day losing streak and clocked their best day in more than 10 years. Investors were reassured by an official signal that President Donald Trump, who has piled criticism of the Fed on Twitter, will not try to oust chairman Jerome Powell. Markets were also buoyed by strong U.S. holiday sales. Retail sales gained 5.1 percent between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, as compared to a year ago, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. It said U.S. shoppers spent more than $850 billion this year, both online and offline.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "The question, of course, is whether this is just a snapback bear market rally, or as Trump said, a tremendous opportunity to buy stocks?" Chris Weston of Pepperstone Group Limited said in a market commentary. "We can assess the fundamental drivers, such as poor global economics, the Fed not altering its forward guidance or providing flexibility to the pace of balance sheet normalization, and ascertain nothing has really changed here," he added.
U.S.-CHINA TALKS: Bloomberg reported that the U.S. will send a government delegation to hold trade talks with Chinese officials in Beijing in the week starting Jan. 7. It cited two people familiar with the matter. This follows a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Argentina earlier this month. The two leaders agreed to hold off on additional tariffs for 90 days, to work on disagreements on trade and technology policies.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 46 cents to $45.76 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract posted its biggest one-day gain in more than two years and settled at $46.22 a barrel in New York on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 68 cents to $53.79 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar eased to 110.90 yen from 111.37 yen late Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1397 from $1.1353.