December 03, 2020: Wall Street's main stock indices pushed higher on Thursday after Ryanair confirmed a major order of Boeing 737 MAX jets.
The deal for 75 of the planes by the Irish low-cost carrier was the first major order for the 737 MAX since the aircraft was grounded for 20 months following two fatal crashes.
The news, along with a successful test flight by American Airlines, help send shares in Boeing higher as the aircraft moves closer to returning to the skies after winning approval by US regulators last month.
Shares in Boeing surged 7.4 percent higher.
In late morning trading, the Dow was 0.6 percent higher, with the S&P 500 pushing further into record territory.
– Stimulating development –
Sentiment was also helped by movement towards a new stimulus package.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw her support behind a $908-billion compromise virus relief package proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday. The proposal is however half what Democrats had previously been pushing for.
“The narrative about how the market is feeling optimistic about 2021 recovery prospects because of the arrival of Covid vaccines is growing a bit tired, yet market participants have been given a stimulant with the increased buzz on Capitol Hill about the need to get another stimulus package done soon,” said market analyst Patrick J. O'Hare at Briefing.com.
He added that the continued high number of new jobless claims along with more than 100,000 Covid-19 hospitalisations in the US were factors in the market viewing it as likely that a deal will be done relatively soon.
– Virus impact –
The eurozone's equity markets slipped on survey data indicating the region's economy continued to be battered by coronavirus fallout.
In eurozone trades Thursday, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index shed 0.5 percent and the Paris CAC 40 dropped 0.2 percent.
Data provider IHS Markit said its closely-watched composite eurozone purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 45.3 points in November from 50 in October, according to final estimates.
Britain's services PMI dropped to 47.6 from 51.4. A level below 50 points indicates contraction.
Nevertheless, London's FTSE 100 managed a 0.4 percent gain thanks to a good performance by international mining stocks.
Meanwhile the pound surged to its highest level in a year, briefly rising above $1.35, after a government official expressed confidence on reaching a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.
“It's the kind of comment that has been heard before in the last couple of weeks, without anything materialising,” said market analyst Connor Campbell at Spreadex. “Nevertheless, with the deadline looming, sterling will take what it can get.”
Oil prices drifted higher as a crucial OPEC gathering debated whether to extend the current level of output cuts.
– Key figures around 1630 GMT –
- New York – Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 30,057.37
- London – FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 6,490.27 points (close)
- Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.5 percent at 13,252.86 (close)
- Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 5,574.36 (close)
- EURO STOXX 50: DOWN less than 0.1 percent at 3,518.78
- Tokyo – Nikkei 225: FLAT at 26,809.37 (close)
- Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.7 percent at 26,728.50 (close)
- Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,442.14 (close)
- Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2149 from $1.2115 at 2200 GMT
- Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3493 from $1.3365
- Dollar/yen: DOWN at 103.82 yen from 104.42 yen
- Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.07 pence from 90.65 pence
- West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.2 percent at $45.38 per barrel
- Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.3 percent at $48.41