Wall Street expected to open higher after upbeat US data

AP News
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Posted: May 31, 2016 8:44 AM
Wall Street expected to open higher after upbeat US data

HONG KONG (AP) — European stock were down slightly on Tuesday but Wall Street was expected to rise on the open after an upbeat U.S. report on consumer spending and as investors come back from a long weekend.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was roughly flat at 6,270 and France's CAC 40 slipped 0.2 percent to 4,520. Germany's DAX edged 0.2 percent lower as well, to 10,317. U.S. stocks were poised to open modestly higher, with Dow futures up 0.2 percent and the broader S&P 500 futures edging up 0.1 percent.

US DATA: Official figures showed consumer spending in the U.S. rose 1 percent in April, the largest amount in more than six years, led by a big jump in purchases of autos and other durable goods. Wages and salaries, the most important component of incomes, gained 0.5 percent. The strong gain for consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, is a good sign that the economy is doing better in the current quarter after nearly stalling out at the start of the year.

GLOBAL OUTLOOK: Earlier, the data was more mixed. A Japanese report showed factory output and consumer spending data improving in April from the previous month, though they remained weak. In Europe, the data was more downbeat, with inflation remaining below zero in May. That is a sign of economic weakness but is not considered bad enough to prompt the European Central Bank to consider more stimulus at its next meeting Thursday, analysts say.

SHANGHAI SURGE: Chinese stocks jumped on speculation that global stock benchmark provider MSCI may include yuan-denominated shares in its Emerging Markets Index for the first time. Any changes would take effect in June. Inclusion of China's so-called "A-shares" would attract more foreign investment as fund managers rebalance their portfolios.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1 percent to finish at 17,234.98 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.8 percent to 1,983.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.9 percent to 20,815.09 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China jumped 3.3 percent to 2,916.62. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5 percent to 5,378.60. Shares in Taiwan and Southeast Asia were mostly lower.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 26 cents to $49.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 17 cents to $50.19 per barrel in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar strengthened to 111.15 yen from 110.95 yen in Monday's trading. The euro edged higher to $1.1150 from $1.1146.