Economy

United States markets open at record highs

A relatively quiet North Korea and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's recent comments on "peaceful solution" also led investors back to riskier assets.

The Federal Open Market Committee begins its next two-day meeting on Tuesday.

Investors do not expect the central bank to increase interest rate in the meeting but will closely watch Fed Chair Janet Yellen's views on inflation, which remains stuck below the Fed's 2-percent target rate.

The Fed meeting, which starts Tuesday, is expected to yield details on how the central bank will unwind its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, almost a decade after the global financial crisis.

In Europe, shares rose to six-week highs in mid-morning trade, with nearly all major bourses across the region in the green.

However, a stronger-than-expected rise in consumer prices in August triggered a more than 50 percent rise in the odds of a December rate hike, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

Microsoft shares ended down 0.2% while Alphabet was off 0.6%, with both stocks seeing a pickup in volume late in the day.

In corporate news, Northrop Grumman and Orbital ATK were in the spotlight after the former announced an agreement to buy its rival in a deal valued at around $7.8bn or $9.2bn if debt is included, for a 22% premium.

Wall Street futures pointed to an opening at new record highs on Monday as bullish sentiment continued to hold sway in markets at the beginning of the week that will have the Federal Reserve policy decision as its major focal point.

Overnight in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 leaped 2% in its first trading session of the week to close at a two-week high of 20, 299.38 points as investors returned from a national holiday Monday buoyed by a weaker yen and speculation of a possible snap election announcement later this week from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi shed 0.08%. Britain's FTSE 100, however, clawed its way into a 0.18% advance thanks in part to a softer pound, which slipped to 1.3492 by mid-morning in London. Greater China markets were mixed.

Financial stocks benefited from a rising US Treasury yields, with the yield on benchmark 10-year notes at 2.222 percent. The Shanghai Composite tacked on 0.09% and the Shenzhen Composite traded just 0.08% above the flat line.



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