Asian markets ttraded mostly higher on Wednesday, led by the Hang Seng’s 1% gain to 19177. The Nikkei climbed .8% to 8730, ending a 3-day losing streak, and the ASX 200 advanced .7% to 4043. The Kospi closed flat, while the Shanghai Composite slipped .2%.
Upbeat US home sales data sent European markets sharply higher in afternoon trading. The CAC40 jumped 1.7% to 3063, the FTSE climbed 1.4% to 5524, and the DAX rallied 1.5% to 6229. German chancellor Angela Merkel remains firmly opposed to any shared debt liabilities, limiting the potential outcome of the 2-day European Summit, scheduled to begin on Thursday.
US stocks rose as well, but the gains were less impressive. The Dow tacked on 92 points to 12627, the S&P 500 advanced .9% to 1332, and the Nasdaq gained .7% to 2875.
Dow Rises 92 Points
The FDA approved Locaserin, an anti-obesity drug produced by Arena Pharmaceuticals, sending the company’s shares soaring 28.7%.
Lennar surged 4.8% after beating analyst profit forecasts. Smilarly, Monsanto jumped 3.9% on the heels of upbeat earnings.
Treasuries and Commodities
Bonds closed little changed, with 10-year notes ending flat to yield 1.62%, and 30-year notes up 2/32 to yield 2.70%.
Crude oil broke back above the $80 mark, gaining 1.06 to 80.42. Natural gas slipped .9% to 2.782, retreating after hitting a 5-month high earlier in the session.
Silver slid .7% to 26.85, while copper gained .8% to 3.3405, and gold ended flat.
European currencies slipped ahead of the European Summit, as the Pound sank .5% to 1.5564, and the Swiss Franc and Euro eased .2% to .9636 and 1.2465 respectively. The Australian Dollar and Canadian Dollar both edged up .2%, while the Yen slipped .2% to 79.71.
Pending home sales surged 5.9% last month, blowing past forecasts for a 1.2% gain. Durable goods orders rose by 1.1%, more than expected.
Thursday’s reports will include GDP, and weekly unemployment claims.
Earnings are due from Accenture, Family Dollar, Nike, and Research in Motion.