World stocks break 500 barrier, oil camps at two-and-a-half year high
By Marc Jones
LONDON (Reuters) – The global rally in stocks showed no sign of slowing on Tuesday, as upbeat investors pushed the most widely-tracked index of world stocks up for a ninth straight day and sailing past the 500 point barrier.
The latest leg of the run came as Japan’s hit its best level since 1992 (), Germany’s scored a record high and the rest of Europe gained () as a 2-1/2 year high in oil prices lifted resources stocks again. ().
All three of Wall Street’s major indexes had closed at record peaks overnight too and the now 500-point MSCI 47-country ‘All World’ index (), was up 0.2 percent having soared almost 20 percent this year.
“You’ve had almost a perfect backdrop for equities,” said Pictet Asset Management’s global strategist Luca Paolini.
“You have acceleration in nominal growth, earnings are between 10-15 globally and whatever you look at is pretty much in double digits.”
The only outlier remained the Gulf, as nervousness around the weekend purge of Royals and officials in Saudi Arabia () sent its stock market () down again and Kuwait’s tumbling more than 4 percent.
Oil prices largely held on to their gains after posting the biggest rise in six weeks following the Saudi moves, which had seen the crown prince tighten his grip on power and crank up tensions between the kingdom and Iran.
U.S. crude () steadied at $57.24 in Europe after going as high as $57.69 and Brent crude futures () were at $64.04 after touching a peak of $64.65 a barrel.
The dollar was also back on the move in the currency markets.
It pushed the euro down to $1.1572 – the single currency’s lowest since mid-July – having also found some traction against the yen overnight.
The , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, added 0.3 percent to top the 95 points mark. ().
A modest rise in U.S. yields also helped the U.S currency. The benchmark 10-year yield () was at 2.328 percent in compared to 2.320 percent, its U.S. close on Monday, when it plumbed its lowest levels in two weeks.
It was at a seven-month high of 2.47 percent as recently as late October. [US/] Germany’s 10-year bond yields also held near two-month lows after the ECB had firmed up its plans to reinvestment the proceeds of its 2.4 trillion euro stimulus program.
The Federal Reserve confirmed on Monday that influential monetary policymaker William Dudley plans to retire by mid-2018, leaving the leadership of the U.S. central bank unusually open.
Negotiators in the U.S. House of Representatives will also seek to overcome their differences this week and work on a tax cut plan, aiming for their self-imposed deadline of passage this month.
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