U.S. markets posted a second day of gains on Tuesday despite the weaker-than-expected U.S. factory orders, led by energy shares as oil continued to rise and better-than-expected car sales. Hopes on a Greek debt deal further supported the bullish sentiment. Factory orders in the U.S. dropped 3.4% in December, missing expectations for a 1.8% decrease, after a 1.7% decline in November. That was the fifth straight decline. November's figure was revised down from a 0.7% fall. Manufacturing in the U.S. is cooling due to weak global demand and falling oil prices. The data added to concerns over the economic outlook of the U.S. after data showed that the world's biggest economy expanded at a slower pace in the fourth quarter, growing at 2.6%. Today data on the ADP Unemployment Report, Services PMI and the ISM Non-Manufacturing will be in the focus.
The DOW JONES index added 1.76% after yesterday's gains of 1.14%, closing at 17,666.4 points. The S&P 500 rose by 1.44% with a final quote of 2,050.30 points.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading 0.47% at 24,669.06 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,175.08 points -0.93% reversing early gains as financial and health-care stocks were under pressure. China's HSBC Services Index declined from 53.4 points in December to 51.8 in January. Yesterday the index halted a five-day decline.
Japan's Nikkei rallied on Wednesday, closing 1.98% with a final quote of 17,678.74 supported by strong corporate earnings reports in the financial sector. Labor Cash Earnings rose in line with expectations by 1.6% in December, a 10th straight gain after adding 0.1% in the previous period.