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Wall Street bounced higher on Wednesday, relieved that a major speech from US President Donald Trump contained no bad surprises, and pleased with unexpectedly good jobs data.
‘Market players who were expecting fireworks from President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, were left empty-handed…’ said Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst at FXTM currency trading firm.
Trump delivered his maiden State of the Union address on Tuesday, declaring that taxes had been slashed, jobs created and ‘the stock market has smashed one record after another’ under his presidency.
He also struck a conciliatory note towards his political opponents, calling for Democrats’ support for a $1.5-trillion investment plan to renew the country’s creaking transport infrastructure.
Wall Street’s main indices snapped higher at the open of trading, shaking off two straight days of declines. 
The Dow was up 0.5 percent in late morning New York business.
Sentiment was helped by data from private payroll firm ADP showing that US companies added 234,000 jobs in the first month of the year, slower than the 242,000 in December, but far outpacing the consensus analyst forecast for an increase of 190,000.
The Dow was also helped by shares in Boeing soaring 5.6 percent after the aerospace giant reported a 92 percent rise in fourth-quarter profits to $3.1 billion and offered a bullish outlook on 2018 thanks to an expected rise in aircraft deliveries and a lower US tax rate.
‘Trump’s State of the Union address did not cause too much market movement, perhaps because it’s followed so swiftly by Wednesday’s first Fed meeting of 2018 and last of Janet Yellen’s tenure as chair,’ said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
Investors are now on tenterhooks for the Fed rate call on Wednesday because it is the last under the leadership of chair Janet Yellen – and could potentially signal an acceleration of rate hikes under incoming chief Jerome Powell.
Yellen rides into sunset
‘Yellen will ride off into the sunset with the job done, leaving markets to focus on the prospect of a rise in rates at the March meeting,’ Manulife Asset Management equities analyst Will Hamlyn told AFP.
Yellen departs with the US economic recovery in full swing amid low inflation, steady job growth and asset prices repeatedly smashing records.
Markets expect Fed policymakers to leave interest rates unchanged Wednesday.
Europe had difficulty following in Wall Street’s steps, with eurozone markets flat and London dropping 0.7 percent as shares in property developers took a hit from government moves that could see them lose building rights if they don’t start construction quickly enough.
The share price of British financial services group Capita plunged nearly 50 percent after the indebted outsourcing firm warned over future profits.
Analysts said the group risked ending up the same way as construction company Carillion, which shut earlier this month with a mountain of debts.
In Frankfurt, Siemens added 0.8 percent after posting a 12-percent increase in first-quarter net profits. 
In Stockholm, investors cut shares in clothes retailer H&M into ribbons after it reported a 13 percent drop in net profit, with the stock down more than 10 percent.
Meanwhile, shares in Electrolux climbed nearly 7 percent after the home appliance maker said net profits climbed 28 percent.
Key figures around 1630 GMT
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.7 percent at 7,533.55 points (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.1 percent at 13,189.48 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.2 percent at 5,481.93 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 3,606.15
New York – DOW: UP 0.5 percent at 26,203.32
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 23,098.29 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 32,887.27 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,480.83 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2439 from $1.2401 at 2200 GMT Tuesday
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.4208 from $1.4147 
Dollar/yen: UP at 109.27 yen from 108.81 yen
Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 27 cents at $68.75 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 37 cents at $64.13