Markets buoyed by upbeat US economic data
The Dow Jones was ahead 74.4 points at 22,632 in early trading, while in Europe France’s CAC 40 was up 17 points at 5,367.41. Germany’s DAX was closed for a holiday.
After recent falls Brent crude edged up, trading at $56.01 a barrel, while the pound dipped 0.26% against the dollar to $1.32 and by 0.42% against the euro to €1.13.
Takeaway chain Greggs issued a trading update which said its like-for-like sales rose 5% in the 13 weeks to the end of September, keeping it on track to meet expectations for the year despite higher ingredient costs.
The company, which has more than 1,800 shops, said total sales in its third quarter rose 8.6% taking growth for the year-to-date to 7.8%.
Greggs is on track to have a net increase of around 100 shops this year and has completed 120 out of 130 shop refurbishments. The group’s shares were up by just over 1% in early trading.
Asian shares closed higher on the back of record closes on Wall Street and upbeat economic data.
Investors remained upbeat despite a slew of tragic and disruptive factors including the horrific events in Las Vegas, the series of hurricanes in the Caribbean and the protests in Catalonia.
Spanish borrowing costs rose and stocks fell as a violent police crackdown on an independence vote in Catalonia rattled investors, but major European bourses gained on travel stocks and the mining sector was helped by higher metals prices.
Planned tax reforms and the possibility that US President Donald Trump will appoint a more hawkish Fed Chair helped lift US equities and the dollar.
The upbeat news spread to Asia and Japan’s Nikkei stock index was 0.9% higher as a tailwind from a weaker yen helped it sail to its highest levels since August 2015.
As widely expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates on hold at a record low of 1.5%. Brent crude was 0.4% to $55.88 a barrel.