U.S. stock indexes closed broadly higher on Wednesday after investors cheered positive economic data and the White House said it was resuming talks on a massive social spending and climate change bill with a holdout senator. The market gained throughout the trading session, overcoming fears about the Omicron COVID-19 variant, and was pushed upward by improving consumer confidence and gross domestic product growth. The positive swing continued Tuesday’s trend, when stocks recouped losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose or 0.74% to 35,753.89, while the S&P 500 gained 1.02% to 4,696.56. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.18%, to 15,521.89.
European shares ended on Wednesday at near one-week highs, led by gains in technology and industrial stocks, even as investors worried about the outlook for global recovery amid a rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. The pan-European STOXX 600 climbed 0.8%, adding to a 1.4% jump in the previous session, which was also its best day in two weeks. Technology shares led gains, followed by industrials, travel and construction-related stocks. France stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Foods & Drugs, Gas & Water and General Financial sectors led shares higher. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 gained 1.24%, while the SBF 120 index climbed 1.24%. Germany stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Retail, Industrials and Media sectors led shares higher. At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX gained 0.95%, while the MDAX index climbed 0.80%, and the TecDAX index added 1.43%.
Japan stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Paper & Pulp, Railway & Bus and Real Estate sectors led shares higher. At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 0.83%. South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.32% and in Australia, the ASX 200 was up 0.38%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.44%. China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.15% and the Shenzhen Component was up 0.22%.
The Russian stock market finished trading in positive territory against the background of increased world stock markets and rising oil prices. The Moscow Exchange Index grew by 1.45% and amounted to 3746.75 points. The RTS index increased by 1.81% to 1601.93 points.
Oil prices edged up on Thursday for a third consecutive session over positive developments around COVID-19, even as China imposed new travel curbs and Australia reinstated restrictions to combat surging cases. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.1% after jumping 2.3% in the previous session. Brent crude futures also gained 0.1% extending a 1.8% gain in the previous session. The big gains on Wednesday were partly spurred by a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.