10:50 AM New York – Stocks on Wall Street extended gains and weekly jobless claims rose and existing home sales increase for the first time this year. World markets traded higher and a private survey in China showed a slight improvement in manufacturing. India is set to appoint new prime minister on Monday.
Market indexes edged higher as investors reviewed weekly jobless claims and existing home sales report. Also, market noted a slight improvement in Chinese manufacturing index and a new government set to take office next week in India.
S&P 500 index increased 3.4 or 0.2% to 1,891.51 and the Nasdaq Composite index added 0.3% or 11.78 to 4,143.10.
Weekly Claims and Existing Home Sales Rise
Jobless claims for the week ending on May 17 increased 28,000 to 326,000 from the revised 298,000 claims in the previous week, the Labor Department said today.
Existing home sales in April increased for the first time this year after more properties were available for sale and price increase moderated.
Home sale closings increased 1.3% from previous month to 4.65 million annual rate in April, National Association of Realtors said today in Washington.
Homes available for sale soared 16.8% in April to 2.29 million and at the current selling pace it would take nearly six months to sell all homes on the market.
The median prices of an existing home rose 5.2% from a previous year month to $201,700 in April.
Stock market indexes shot up in Japan and the Topix index gained the most in ten days after the U.S. Fed hinted low rates to continue and cited positive economic development but growth outlook remains low.
Market sentiment was also bolstered after a private survey in China showed a slight improvement in manufacturing activities.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average increased 2.1% to 14,337.79 and the broader Topix index advanced 1.7% to 1,169.34.
The yen weakened 0.3% to 101.67 against one U.S. dollar.
Stocks in India extended two-week gains after Reserve Bank of India relaxed gold import rules and said additional import of precious metal is not likely to affect current account deficit.
The Sensex index added 0.3% to 24,374 and Narendra Modi is set to take over as Prime Minister of India on May 26.
Rupee in India advanced to a 1-year high and closed at 58.45 against one dollar and current account deficit narrowed.
Australian market indexes closed higher following better than expected news on manufacturing in China and the U.S. Fed hinting low interest rate regime to continue for the near future.
ASX 200 index closed up 55 or 1% to finish at 5,480 and in trading 727 million shares changed hands worth $4.35 billion.
Australian dollar gained to close at 92.60 U.S. cents and market indexes in Hong Kong added 0.6% and in Tokyo advanced 1.6%.