US stocks rose on Wednesday, lifted by gains in technology and financial shares and optimism about progress in Greece bailout extension negotiations. S&P 500 advanced 1.2%, with all 10 main sectors ending higher. Technology and financial sectors led gains, rising 1.6% and 1.4% respectively. Financial stocks advanced on the prospect of higher interest rates as US bond yields turned higher. Shares of Goldman Sachs rose 2 %. Netflix was up 3.7 % after shareholders approved a massive increase in the number of shares the company is authorized to issue. HCC Insurance Holdings rose 36.4 % after news Tokio Marine Holdings had agreed to buy the US insurer for $7.5 billion. The trading volume was 6.5 billion shares on US exchanges, about 8% above the monthly average so far. The dollar retreated against most of the major currencies, with the ICE US dollar index falling 0.6% to 94.56. Today at 13:30 CET May Advance Retail Sales will be published. At the same time May Import Price Index, Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Claims will be released in US. The tentative outlook is positive for the dollar. At 15:00 CET April Business Inventories will be released. The tentative outlook is neutral.
European stocks rallied on Wednesday as investor sentiment was buoyed by news that Germany is considering a staggered deal on aid for Greece to unlock a portion of bailout funds if Athens commits to at least one economic reform up-front. German government spokesman later said Germany would only accept a cash-for-reform deal between Greece and its international creditors that had the approval of all three lending institutions. The Stoxx Europe 600 index jumped 1.8%, breaking six-day losing streak. The German DAX index rose 2.4 % , rebounding after sliding into correction territory on Monday. The volatility in bond markets, that weighed on stocks since last week, continued as the 10-year German yield broke above 1% for the first time since September 2014. No important economic data are expected today in euro-zone.
Nikkei ended 1.7 % higher today, bouncing from three-week lows on hopes Greece was closer to reaching a deal with its creditors. Yen retreated after advancing on remarks by the Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. Tomorrow at 5:30 CET April Industrial Production and Tertiary Industry Activity will be published in Japan. The tentative outlook is positive.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand surprised markets by cutting interest rates 0.25% to 3.25% and indicating still more easing likely.
The World Bank on Wednesday cut its global growth outlook for this year. It revised downward 2015 world economic growth to 2.8 % from 3 % forecast in January.
Oil prices rose on Wednesday as US Energy Information Administration reported a weekly drop of 6.8 million barrels in crude supplies while domestic output rose 24 thousand barrels from a week earlier to 9.61 million barrels-a-day. Prices are falling today after the World Bank lowered global economic growth outlook for 2015.
Gold prices rose on Wednesday, helped by weaker dollar and concerns about Greek debt crisis, but gains were capped by outflows from exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Holdings in top gold ETF – SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.42% to 705.72 tonnes on Tuesday, the lowest since January. Holdings of the top eight ETFs were at their lowest in five years.