HONG KONG (AP) — World stock markets advanced Tuesday as investors studied a fresh round of corporate earnings reports and data releases for signs the global economy is on the right track.
DATA DUMP: Investors were focusing on a deluge of economic data Tuesday, starting with a private Chinese manufacturing survey showing activity expanded last month, rising to its highest level in four months. The Caixin/Markit factory purchasing managers’ index offered hope the world’s No. 2 economy is holding up better than thought. That was followed by data showing the eurozone grew by a robust quarterly rate of 0.6 percent in the second quarter, extending a strong performance in the previous quarter. U.S. manufacturing and personal income numbers are due later.
BOTTOM LINE: Japanese electronics giant Sony and automaker Honda extended the trend of strong corporate results this earnings season. Sony reported that quarterly profit nearly quadrupled while Honda posted a 19 percent increase in net income. The results came after trading in Tokyo closed for the day, so investors won’t be able to react until Wednesday. In Britain, BP’s earnings were better than expected, though the costs of the 2010 oil spill continued to weigh on the bottom line.
TRUMP TROUBLES: President Donald Trump’s decision to fire his White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, just 11 days into the job raised concerns over dysfunction in the administration that could undermine investor confidence and further weigh on the dollar. The firing came the same day that former homeland security secretary John Kelly was sworn in as White House chief of staff.
QUOTEWORTHY: “The biggest question now must surely be if this latest White House firing is indicative of an administration in total meltdown, in which case the U.S. dollar seems unlikely to avoid being swept along with it,” Michael Every, head of Asia-Pacific research at Rabobank, wrote in a commentary. “Or could the new chief of staff bring some much-needed discipline and order to the Trump administration?”
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.3 percent to close at 19,985.79 while South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.8 percent to 2,422.96. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8 percent to 27,540.23 and the Shanghai Composite index in mainland China rose 0.6 percent to 3,292.64. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.9 percent to 5,772.40. Taiwan’s benchmark rose while Southeast Asian indexes were mixed.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.48 yen from 110.26 yen in late trading Monday. The euro dipped to $1.1813 from $1.1841.
ENERGY: Oil’s rally faded, with the benchmark U.S. crude down 26 cents to $49.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 46 cents to settle at $50.17 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, dropped 36 cents to $52.36 a barrel in London.