Current Futures: Dow +96.00, S&P +11.70, NASDAQ +15.50
European Trade: Overnight equity markets traded on very strong momentum, as the outlook for the global economy has improved over in the last few weeks.
European markets rose 3% in the first hour alone, while Asian markets closed the trading session very strong. The Nikkei drove the regional markets higher, as auto-industry sales in the U.S. fell less than expected. The Nikkei reached a three month high, at the same time as Chinese stocks were trading near the highest value reached in the last seven months.
The strong start in Europe propelled the Ftse above the 4,000-point benchmark. U.K. markets were driven higher by commodity stocks, which were helped by gains in the metal’s market. Twenty companies, on the FTSE, rose more than 5% today, while only three companies out of 102 declined. On the German Dax, the car-manufacturers continued to post very strong gains, as BMW rose over 9% and Daimler gained 7%. Every company listed on the German Dax rose today.
The G-20 meeting is getting under way today, with the European parties opposing additional fiscal measures to stimulate the economy, but asking for further regulations of the financial environment. France and Germany, the two eternal European rivals, went so far to say they would boycott the summit if conditions for tougher tax haven regulations are not meet. On the other hand, the IMF is criticizing both the U.S. and Europe for dodging a very important measure: cleaning the bank’s balance sheets.
Overnight, the Nikkei rose 367.87 points (4.40%) to 8,719.78. The Australian S&P/Asx gained 100.50 points (2.81%) to 3,680.20. The U.K. Ftse gained 112.64 points (2.85%) to 4,068.25, while the German Dax rose 120.09 points (2.91%) to 4,251.16
Crude oil traded flat, on a low volume. Crude oil for May delivery rose $0.60 to $49.20
Gold continues to trade within the range of the last few days of trading. Bullion for immediate delivery fell $3.10 to $924.70.