Tech shares rally lift world stocks to one-month high

Prospects of solid corporate earnings helped counter inflation concerns

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

World stocks climbed to a one-month high on Tuesday as a rally in technology shares and prospects of solid corporate earnings helped counter concerns about elevated inflationary pressures.

Oil prices took a breather from their eye-catching rise in recent weeks while the worrying trend of flattening global government bond yield curves paused, helping investors recoup some of their appetite for risky assets.

An MSCI gauge of world stocks climbed to its highest levels since September 17th while U.S. stock futures gained in early London trading. European stocks advanced 0.3 per cent.

“It seems that better-than-expected earnings results from big US banks last week encouraged some market participants to start this week by increasing their risk exposure, as they may have become somewhat more optimistic for the rest of the season,” said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD group.

Macro data also offered some relief for global markets with weaker-than-expected growth data on China and US industrial production numbers on Monday fuelling hopes that central banks won’t rush to tighten monetary policy.

Bond markets welcomed the data where yields on 10-year US Treasury notes falling nearly 6 bps from Monday’s high while the US dollar weakening broadly against its rivals to a three-week low.

Traders said a rally in non-dollar currencies was also due to some short position covering by hedge funds with the dollar’s weakness on Tuesday also helping relieve some concerns of dollar funding shortages in the cross-currency swap markets.

But beneath the surface, concerns lurked. A BoFA monthly fund manager survey noted that cash levels among investors rose to a 12-month high signaling growing caution.

Analysts said a Wall Street rally overnight which saw Apple , Facebook and Microsoft all rising was behind a strong performance in stock markets.

Sterling, the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar all hit month highs against the greenback in the Asian session, while the euro hit a two-week high against a broadly struggling dollar.

Brent crude rose 0.28 per cent to $84.56 a barrel though the pace of gains in oil prices slowed. U.S. crude gained 0.44 per cent to $82.8 a barrel. Brent crude prices are up by a third in two months.

Gold also gained on lower yields with the spot price rising 0.6 per cent to $1,775.2 an ounce but remaining within its recent range. – Reuters