World Stocks Hit 4th Consecutive Record High, Bonds Rise On ECB QE Report

World stocks rose to a 4th consecutive record highs, while the dollar headed for its worst week; U.S. stock-index futures are steady, with European and Asian stocks higher ahead of much anticipated US inflation data, which is expected to give cues on the outlook for the Federal Reserve’s interest rates. MSCI’s all world equity index was up 0.1% after hitting record highs on Thursday. Earlier in Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a 10-year high, up 0.3 percent on the day.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3%, led by steelmakers and miners as most industrial metals gained and WTI crude rose back above $51 a barrel. The dollar nudged lower as investors awaited the U.S. latest inflation data. Sterling pared gains after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said “new problems” were emerging “day after day” in the Brexit withdrawal process. The British currency had rallied earlier on a report that the EU may offer the U.K. a two-year transition period to stay in the union.

Elsewhere, Asian stocks rose for a sixth day, the longest winning streak in three months, on optimism that U.S. economic data will prompt gradual rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.5 percent to 166.47 as of 4:59 p.m. in Hong Kong, the highest level since November 2007. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 powered past 21,000 and completed a nine-day winning streak. The equities benchmark in the Philippines rose to a record, while mainland Chinese shares trading in Hong Kong extended their advance to a two-year high. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has advanced 23 percent this year, poised for its sharpest annual gain since 2009. The gauge is trading at 14 times 12-month forward estimated earnings, highest since January.

The Asian highlight was once again …read more


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