FTSE 100: 7742.84 ▼ -13.09 (-0.17%)
US stocks once again finished at new records on Tuesday, boosted by health and banking shares, ahead of key earnings reports later in the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 103 points, or 0.41%, to 25,386, the S&P 500 gained four points, or 0.13%, to 2,751 and the Nasdaq Composite added six points, or 0.09%, to 7,164.
Defensive S&P sectors - utilities, real estate and telecommunications - were out of favour, while financial and healthcare sectors rebounded to reverse Monday’s losses.
The S&P healthcare sector was boosted by a 1.6% rise in Johnson & Johnson, a 4.9% gain in Gilead and a 7.9% jump in Boston Scientific shares.
The financial sector was helped by a rise in US 10-year Treasury yields to a 10-month high after the Bank of Japan said it would trim purchases of Japanese government bonds.
US banking giants are set to kick off fourth-quarter earnings season on Friday. Investors will seek more detail on the impact of corporate tax cuts, and what companies plan to do with the savings.
The interest-rate sensitive utilities index fell 0.8%, while the real estate sector was down 1%. Telecommunications declined 1.6%.
The technology sector was down 0.09%. Intel fell 2.4% after reports that systems running on its chips slowed after Microsoft Corp released patches for security threats.
Some retailers, including Target, Kohl’s Corp and Lululemon Athletica have reported solid rises in same-store sales for the holiday period and raised fourth-quarter profit forecasts.
Boeing was the biggest boost for the Dow with a 2.4% increase, after it said it delivered 763 jetliners in 2017, likely retaining its title as the world’s biggest plane maker.
In Asia, major Asian markets fell on Wednesday in morning session despite a solid lead from Wall Street overnight, but Shanghai stocks bucked the trend.
The Shanghai composite was up 0.27 percent in early trade. Meanwhile, the Shenzhen composite traded down 0.11%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index traded near flat.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.25% despite broad gains across auto stocks and financial plays. Over in Seoul, the benchmark Kospi index fell 0.23%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4% in afternoon trade as most sectors declined.