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While you were sleeping: Wall St rises, copper climbs

While you were sleeping: Wall St rises, copper climbs

By Margreet Dietz

Dec. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Wall Street crept higher, as did US Treasuries, while copper climbed to the highest level in nearly four years.

Copper rose as China ordered its top producer, Jiangxi Copper, to halt output to ease winter pollution, underpinning the metal’s rally fuelled by optimism about the worldwide economic outlook, Bloomberg reported. Copper for delivery in three months rose as high as US$7,259 a metric tonne on the London Metal Exchange.

“The China shutdown news is certainly propping up copper further than it would be potentially without it,” David Meger, a director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures in Chicago, told Bloomberg. “All of that is tied into this whole thread of optimism in US and global growth.”

Wall Street moved higher. In 12.13am trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.12 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.11 percent. In 11.58am trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.1 percent.

US Treasuries also advanced, sending yields on the 10-year note two basis points lower to 2.45 percent.

The Dow rose as gains in shares of American Express and those of McDonald’s, both recently up 0.6 percent, outweighed declines in shares of Nike and those of Goldman Sachs, each down 0.7 percent recently.

In the latest US economic data, a Conference Board report showed consumer confidence slipped in December from a 17-year high, declining to a reading of 122.1, down from a reading of 128.6 in November.

“The decline in confidence was fuelled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months," Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in the report.

"Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, improved moderately,” Franco noted. “Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.”

Separately, a National Association of Realtors report showed its pending home sales index last month rose to 109.5, the highest since June and a 0.2 percent increase from October.

Contract signings were up annually for the first time since June, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

“The housing market is closing the year on a stronger note than earlier this summer, backed by solid job creation and an economy that has kicked into a higher gear,” Yun noted in the report.

“However, new buyers coming into the market are finding out quickly that their options are limited and competition is robust,” according to Yun. “Realtors say many would-be buyers from earlier this year, stifled by tight supply and higher prices, are still trying to buy a home.”

Shares of Tesla slid, down 1.5 percent as of 12.28pm in New York. Brokerage KeyBanc downgraded its fourth-quarter estimates for Model 3 deliveries to about 5,000 units, from 15,000 units, Reuters reported.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.1 percent gain from the previous close. France’s CAC40 Index rose 0.1 percent, while the UK’s FTSE 100 index added 0.4 percent.

Germany’s DAX Index slipped 0.02 percent.


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