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Us Stocks End Higher Despite Global Trade Tension

US stock indexes closed higher on Friday as investors shrugged off concerns about global trade tensions but trading volume was relatively light ahead of a busy week of central bank meetings.

The S&P 500 stayed in positive territory in the afternoon after reversing losses in the early afternoon with its biggest boosts coming from the health care and consumer staples sectors.

Investors appeared to put aside worries about US relations with its biggest trading partners. G7 major nations started what was expected to be a tense meeting after US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 75.12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,316.53, the S&P 500 gained 8.61 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,778.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.44 points, or 0.14 percent, to 7,645.51.

For the week, the S&P rose 1.62 percent while the Dow added 2.76 percent and the Nasdaq gained 1.21 percent.

Stimulus Plan Boosts Abu Dhabi Index, Saudi Bourse Falls

Major Middle Eastern stock markets were mixed on Wednesday with news of a 50 billion dirham ($13.6 billion) economic stimulus plan boosting Abu Dhabi while Saudi Arabia pulled back after six straight days of gains.

The Abu Dhabi index added 0.8 percent with some big banks and real estate firms outperforming. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank gained 1.4 percent and Aldar Properties climbed 1.5 percent.

The three-year stimulus package announced by the crown prince includes more investment in new technologies and tourism.

Many details are not known, however, and it is not clear how much the package can help the residential real estate market, where prices dropped 7.8 percent from a year ago in the first quarter.

The Saudi index rose in early trade but closed 0.3 percent lower. Petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), which had soared 13 percent since the end of April, retreated 1.5 percent.

Tokyo Stocks Up On Weak Yen

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index rose for the fourth consecutive session Thursday, supported by a weak yen and Wall Street rallies.

The Nikkei 225 index gained 0.87 percent or 197.53 points to close at 22,823.26 while the broader Topix index was up 0.64 percent or 11.42 points at 1,789.01.

The yen fell against major currencies, reflecting speculation about the European Central Bank’s possible movement towards ending its massive bond-buying programme.

The dollar changed hands at 110.04 yen in Asian afternoon trade, down from 110.19 yen in New York on Wednesday but still up from 109.89 yen in Tokyo the previous day.

Automakers were among the gainers, with Toyota rising 0.70 percent to 7,527 yen, Honda trading up 0.74 percent at 3,536 yen and Nissan up 1.05 percent at 1,103 yen.

Hong Kong Stocks Rise For Sixth Straight Day

Hong Kong stocks clocked up a sixth successive gain on Thursday as investors tracked a rally on Wall Street, while looking ahead to the weekend’s Group of Seven summit.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.81 percent, or 253.53 points, to 31,512.63.

But the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.18 percent, or 5.68 points, to 3,109.50 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, dropped 0.63 percent, or 11.19 points, to 1,767.96.

Sri Lankan Shares Lower

Sri Lankan shares ended weaker on Thursday, after breaching the psychological barrier of 6,400, pulled down by blue-chip shares such as John Keells Holdings Plc , brokers said.

The Colombo stock index closed 0.57 percent weaker at 6,363.62.

Analysts expected a further decline in the index as there weren’t any positive news to boost market sentiment.

Most of the investors have adopted the wait-and-watch approach, hoping for some positive news especially on the economic front, analysts said.

Turnover was 545.7 million rupees, below this year’s daily average of 982.1 million rupees.

Tsx Rises As Higher Oil Prices Boost Energy Stocks

Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, led by gains in the energy sector, which benefited from rising oil prices.

At 9:55 a.m. ET (1355 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 28.83 points, or 0.18 percent, at 16,212.76.

Oil prices rose on concerns about a plunge in exports from Venezuela, helping the energy sector climb 0.9 percent.

Four of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the energy group.

US crude prices were up 0.9 percent, while Brent crude added 1 percent.

Biggest boosts to the energy group were shares of Suncor Energy Inc, rising 1.5 percent and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, which gained 0.8 percent.

The financial sector climbed 0.2 percent and was the second biggest boost to the main index.

Toronto-Dominion Bank up 0.5 percent and Royal Bank Of Canada rose 0.4 percent, were the leading gainers among the sector.

The Canadian dollar was little changed against its US counterpart as voters in Ontario headed to the polls and ahead of an assessment by the Bank of Canada of risks to the stability of the financial system.

Nigerian Stocks Rise

Nigerian stocks rose for the third day in a row on Wednesday, climbing 1.53 percent as investors bought shares of the relatively liquid banking sector as well as consumer goods and oil companies.

The stock market gained 16 percent in the first quarter, helped by rising oil prices, but then saw a sell-off and is now down 1 percent so far this year as rising US interest rates hit emerging markets.

Bargain hunters moved in this week. The index of Nigeria’s top 10 consumer goods companies rose 2.5 percent on Wednesday. The banking index climbed 1.15 percent.

Fidelity Bank, Oando, Diamond Bank , Lafarge Africa, Dangote Flour Mills and Transcorp all rose more than 9 percent.

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