Saturday 15 December 2018

Global markets hit all-time high as economic optimism returns

Stock photo
Stock photo

Reuters

Global and US stock performance set fresh all-time highs yesterday, buoyed by a bright business outlook and strong corporate earnings, while the economy's strength in continental Europe lifted the euro to a two-month high against the dollar.

German business confidence hit a record high in November, a sign that Europe's largest economy is on track for a boom, the Ifo economic institute said. The Ifo survey helped allay concerns about the recent failure of forming a new German government and came a day after surveys of Europe's services and manufacturing industries beat the most optimistic forecasts in Reuters polls.

The strong outlook from Europe put the euro on course for a third straight week of gains against the dollar, its best run since July.

The single currency rose 0.6pc to 1.l921.

MSCI's all-country world index of equity markets in 47 countries rose 0.25 percent to a new record high. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of regional shares traded little changed, as strong gains in financials were off-set by heavy losses in health care.

However, several major European country indices, including France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX advanced. In Dublin the Iseq was up at 6,870.23, though remains off the 7,157.43 peak reached in May.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit records, lifted by signs of a strong start to the US holiday shopping season.

Irish Independent

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