European stock markets start week with solid gains
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LONDON: Global stock markets rose solidly on Monday (Feb 26) at the start of an event-packed trading week.The advances helped take another bite out of the big losses suffered at the start of February, which were sparked by concerns that rising US inflation could lead to faster-than-expected interest rate rises in the world's biggest economy.Those worries were eased somewhat on Friday when the Federal Reserve, in its semi-annual report to Congress, said inflation remains subdued globally and it expects to raise borrowing costs three times this year - tempering speculation of four increases.However, analysts warn that equity valuations remain elevated and volatility could still return.After Tokyo's main stocks index closed up more than one per cent, Europe's leading indices pushed higher albeit with lesser gains.London's benchmark FTSE 100 index finished the day with a gain of 0.6 per cent.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 added 0.4 per cent and in Paris the CAC 40 rose 0.5 per cent."The recovery in European equity markets is still being played out. Investors are becoming more content to buy back into the market, and the memory of the sharp sell-off at the start of the month is continuing to fade," said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK."Dealers are coming around to the idea that the positive market momentum is here to stay," he added.Wall Street also pushed higher, with the Dow up nearly 1.0 per cent in midday trading, despite data showing sales of single-family houses falling 7.8 per cent last month, its second monthly drop in a row.
The bright start of the week for equities follows a strong finish on Friday for all three main Wall Street indices, with the Dow up 1.4 per cent, S&P 500 winning 1.6 per cent and Nasdaq jumping 1.8 per cent.Monday's positivity meanwhile kicks off a busy week, with the release of key US data including economic growth, jobs creation and wages.Also, new Fed boss Jerome Powell will speak before key finance committees on Tuesday and Thursday. Markets will pore over his comments for clues about plans for monetary policy - though many predict he will stick to the path of his predecessor Janet Yellen.In foreign exchange, the dollar wobbled after climbing on Friday on the back of the Fed comments.Gains by the euro were being curbed by uncertainty ahead of weekend elections in Italy, one of the eurozone's biggest economies.Oil prices continued pushing higher following gains at the end of last week on a surprise drop in US stockpiles and as a key terminal in major producer Libya suffered disruption from protests.Analysts said comments from Saudi Arabia that it would produce less than agreed production levels in the first three months of this year helped support prices.
Key figures around 1630 GMT:London - FTSE 100: UP 0.6 per cent at 7,289.58 points (close)Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.4 per cent at 12,527.04 (close)Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.5 per cent at 5,344.26 (close)EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.8 per cent at 3,468.35New York - DOW: UP 1.0 per cent at 25,551.48Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 per cent at 22,153.63 (close)Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.74 per cent at 31,498.60 (close)Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.2 per cent at 3,329.57 (close)Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.2312 from US$1.2295 at 2130 GMTPound/dollar: DOWN at US$1.3958 from US$1.3968Dollar/yen: UP at 106.90 yen from 106.83 yenOil - Brent North Sea: UP 25 cents at US$63.94 per barrelOil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 14 cents at US$63.94
Source : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/european-stock-markets-start-week-with-solid-gains-9993724