World Stocks Hit 5-Month High After Fed
Wednesday, 13 October 2010

World stocks hit a five-month high on Wednesday while emerging market equities held near a recent 27-month peak, driven by expectations of more money printing in the United States and upbeat corporate reports.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve's September meeting showed officials discussed the possibility of buying more longer-term US government debt to drive borrowing costs lower and ways to nudge the public into expecting higher levels of inflation in the future to spur spending.

US technology firm Intel's upbeat fourth-quarter sales and margins forecast raised hopes that the technology sector could end 2010 on a strong note.

The prospect of more cheap money and expectations that corporate earnings would improve further encouraged investors to buy risky assets such as equities while pushing the dollar towards an eight-month low against the euro.

"We saw from the FOMC minutes that there is little doubt that a further round of (quantitative easing) is likely to happen at the next meeting," David Morrison, market strategist at GFT Global said.

"That is weakening the dollar and ... it's risk-on and everything gets bought."

The MSCI world equity index rose 0.7 percent on the day to hit its highest level since April, bringing its gains this year to more than five percent.

The Thomson Reuters global stock index was also up 0.7 percent. U.S. stock futures rose 0.7 percent, pointing to a firmer open on Wall Street later.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index gained one percent while emerging stocks rose more than one percent, closing in on recent 27-month highs.

U.S. crude oil rose 1.5 percent to $82.87 a barrel after data showed China, which surpassed the United States as the world's biggest energy user, set a record 35 percent increase in September crude oil imports from a year earlier.

Actions of further policy easing in the United States and a weaker dollar also burnished the appeal of commodities for investors.


German government bond prices fell after European Central Bank Governing Council member Axel Weber said Europe's economy was on the road to recovery, and that the bank could raise interest rates even with support measures in place. The bund future fell 64 ticks.

Weber's comments highlighted policy differences in the United States and the euro zone, giving support to the euro. The single currency rose half a percent towards $1.40, near an eight-month high.

"In the G4 space, the ECB is the only central bank that is talking of an exit policy and that is helping the euro," said Ankita Dudani, G10 currency strategist at RBS.

The dollar fell 0.4 percent against a basket of major currencies.

The Chinese yuan inched close to its highest level since its landmark revaluation in July 2005, as a surge in foreign exchange reserves and exports underscored pressure for the currency to appreciate.

China's stockpile of currency reserves, the world's biggest, increased by $194 billion from July to September, the most in any three-month period, to reach $2.65 trillion. Exports in September rose 25.1 percent from a year earlier.


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