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A tentative rebound on Wall Street overnight was overshadowed by tragedy in London, as a terror attack outside Britain’s Houses of Parliament left four dead after a knife-wielding assailant ploughed through throngs of people on Westminster Bridge in a car and fatally stabbed a police officer before being shot and killed.
Forty people were injured in the attack, which paralysed the heart of British government, as MPs and government officials were held in lockdown for hours. The attack fits an increasingly familiar pattern of those in Berlin and Nice. Police shot the assailant dead.
US markets launched a timid recovery, with the S&P 500 index climbing modestly after Tuesday’s 1.2 per cent drop – although European bourses added to losses. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, briefly dropped below $50 a barrel on Tuesday and the dollar index remains below the 100-point mark as investors pare Trump trades and rush to havens like bonds and gold.
In Asia Pacific equities, Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index is up 0.2 per cent in early trading, while futures tip Tokyo’s Topix index to open flat and the Hang Seng to climb 0.6 per cent when trading begins.
Corporate earnings reports out today include Cnooc, China Mobile, ZTE, BAIC Motor, Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco), Kerry Logistics and Anhui Conch Cement.
The economic calendar for Thursday is packed with electrolytes (all times Hong Kong):
- 13.00: Singapore consumer price inflation
- 16.00: Philippines central bank interest rates decision
- 16.00: Taiwan industrial production
- The Taiwan central bank’s interest rates decision and Macau visitor arrivals are also due out today.