Market Overview

Global shares hit record high on COVID recovery bet

Global shares hit record highs on Tuesday and were on track for their longest winning streak in 17 years as investors bet the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines would lead to a durable economic recovery and draw a line under a year of lockdowns. The MSCI’s global stock index was up 0.16% at 686.19 points after hitting a record high of 686.38 points earlier in the session. A positive close would mark the 12th consecutive day of gains for the first time since January 2004.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.19%, after hitting its highest since late February 2020. The ZEW investor sentiment index in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, rose by far more than expected in February on expectations that people will flock back to shops and other retail outlets in the coming six months.

Prospects for recovery lit up commodities, with copper at $8,384.50, after hitting its highest since May 2012, and platinum scaling a 6-1/2 year peak. The European mining index was at its highest level since July 2011. Hospitality stocks could see more gains as restaurants, hotels and pubs reopen in coming weeks. They should do well on the back of the “staycation” trade, Hewson said. Recovery hopes in Britain sent sterling to 2-1/2 year highs, just short of $1.40 against the dollar. Oil prices jumped to a 13-month high as a deep freeze due to a severe snow storm in the United States not only boosted power demand but also threatened oil production in Texas.

The euro crept 0.3% higher to $1.21590. S&P500 futures were up 0.5%, signalling gains to come on Wall Street as well. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields were trading at 1.24%. The U.S. dollar index, at 90.184, was mired at a three-week low as growing optimism about recovery sent investors into riskier currencies, including the euro and British pound. U.S. President Joe Biden is pushing ahead with his plan to pump an extra $1.9 trillion in stimulus into the economy, in a further boost to market sentiment.

Global shares hit record high on COVID recovery bet, Reuters, Feb 16

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